Google just plunked down $100 million not for the latest WhozIt app but for residential solar. The big G is teaming up with SunPower to buy solar panel systems, which the companies will lease to homeowners for cheap (Google says charges will typically be lower than an average electricity bill).
SunPower started leasing home solar kits in 2011 and has amassed about 20,000 customers so far. Google’s official blog praises the solar company, which contributed $150 million to the fund and will manufacture and install the panels:
SunPower … [has] high-quality, high reliability panels which can generate up to 50 percent more power per unit area, with guaranteed performance and lower degradation over time. That means that you can install fewer solar panels to get the same amount of energy.
Back in 2011, Google pulled a similar move with SolarCity when it shelled out $280 million so up to 9,000 homeowners could lease solar panels. SolarCity is now America’s biggest solar provider, in terms of market value.
Americans are even hungrier for solar now, three years later, if American Solar Solution’s 400 percent bump in installations last year is any indication. Think solar will never replace coal, Forbes? You can shove it!