Google is investing US$168 million in an alternative power project that aims to produce enough solar energy to light 140,000 homes. The commitment is part of the financing that BrightSource Energy needs to build solar power plant in California's Mojave Desert. The project, known as the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, is supposed to generate about 392 gross megawatts when it is completed in 2013.
Google has been dipping into its bank account to back various projects that promise to generate energy from other sources besides oil and coal. The company has emerged as a major consumer of electricity as it opens huge data centres to house the computers that run its Internet search engine, email and other online services.