The Google search engine gives people the power to look up information and learn all sorts of new things. But what powers Google so that it can do this? The answer will soon be renewable energy, because the company is going solar in South Carolina.
Central Electric Power Cooperative Inc. (CEPCI for short) provides wholesale electric service to 20 independent electric distribution cooperatives. These electric cooperatives provide power to many homes and businesses in South Carolina, including Google. Because CEPCI sees that renewable energy is quickly becoming a major source of electricity, the company is starting to go solar in South Carolina. CEPCI recently announced plans to purchase 150 MW of solar power from two different facilities in Orangeburg County. These two solar farms will each generate 75 MW of electricity- enough to power 30,000 homes. Each solar energy farm will sit on 750 acres of land, and construction is scheduled to begin in 2021. They should begin producing power in 2022, allowing the Google Berkeley campus to run completely on green, clean energy.
“Our member cooperatives are forward-thinking utilities, and they know solar energy has a place in our energy mix,” said CEPCI president and CEO, Robert Hoschstetler. “Our power supply planners are looking for ways to integrate renewables into the supply. Solar is an expanding part of the diversification of our power supply.”
One of the companies looking forward to all that power from solar in South Carolina is Google. “Up to now,” Google said in an announcement, “most of our renewable purchases in the U.S. have been wind-driven, but the declining cost of solar (down more than 80% in the past decade) has made harnessing the sun increasingly cost-effective.”
Clearly, going solar in South Carolina is becoming quite popular. With Google to set an example for other large corporations, hopefully other companies will jump on the green bandwagon and switch over to clean, green, renewable energy.