In a blog post
published last week, Senior Vice President Urs Hölzle revealed that the company is retiring the
"At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take
this research to the next level," Hölzle wrote.
During the lifespan of the initiative,
Google invested $168 million in the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System (ISEGS) being
developed by Brightsource Energy.
Located in California's Mojave Desert, the solar complex uses mirrors to focus the solar energy on
receivers atop power towers. It is the world's largest power tower project, and upon completion in
2013 will generate 392 MW of solar energy.
Google also invested in eSolar to help the company expand its work on concentrating solar
In addition to its investments in solar technologies, Google invested
in the geothermal drilling technology developed by Potter Drilling, and sponsored research leading to the
development of the first Geothermal Map of
Although Google has retired its initiative, the company says it will continue
to support energy efficiency measures, both on college campuses and in its own data centers, and
continue to invest in renewables as well. It has collaborated with Clean Power Finance (CPF) and SolarCity in the creation of funds to help bring rooftop solar
to more than 10,000 homes.
Google has also committed to take a 37.5% stake in the initial
development stage of the 350-mile Atlantic Wind Connection (AWC), which would provide an underwater
backbone to connect 6,000MW of offshore wind turbines.