Google to install more than 9,000 photovoltaic panels at its HQ

Google Inc. is converting six buildings at its headquarters in the San Francisco Bay area to run on up to 30 percent solar power. The project, one of the largest solar endeavors undertaken by a U.S. company, will require installation of 9,212 solar panels, and should be operational by early 2007. “We hope corporate America is paying attention. We want to see a lot of copycats,” says David Radcliffe, Google’s vice president of real estate, who estimates that energy savings should allow the company to recoup costs within five to 10 years. This effort to mitigate the energy-sucking effects of Google’s one-million-square-foot HQ complex isn’t the company’s only green endeavor: it also gives $5,000 to employees who buy hybrid cars, serves organic food in its cafeterias, and furnishes its offices with recycled materials.