Google invests in wind and solar

While Southern Company and Georgia Power pour money down that nuclear pit by the Savannah River and Progress Energy can’t afford to fix its Crystal River nuke, Google’s wind and solar projects are already online on time, all for less than the cost overruns so far at Vogtle or the fix-it price at Crystal River.

David Goldman wrote for CNN Money 10 January 2013, Google invests $200 million in Texas wind farm,

“We look for projects like Spinning Spur because, in addition to creating more renewable energy and strengthening the local economy, they also make for smart investments,” Kojo Ako-Asare, Google’s senior manager of corporate finance, said in a blog post.

Ako-Asare added that wind farms offer “attractive returns relative to the risks.”

Which is the opposite of nuclear’s huge risks relative to the apparently negative returns. So how much wind and solar energy does Google generate?

Spinning Spur is the 10th green energy investment Google has made since 2010. It’s the second most expensive investment, behind only a $280 million stake in SolarCity, a solar systems company. The company has five solar investments and five wind investments.

In all, Google has invested more than $1 billion in renewable energy.

The company said all 10 projects are capable of generating a combined 2 gigawatts of power — enough to power 500,000 homes for a year.

So for less than the cost overruns so far at Plant Vogtle, Google has bought almost energy generation as much as the 2.2 GW the two new nukes are supposed to produce, except Google’s wind and solar projects are already online on time. And while SO and Georgia Power are struggling to finish that one project, Google is busily getting on with more.

Who has the better track record with new energy deployment? Google with its renewable energy investments out of its own profits? Or Southern Company with that nuclear boondoggle and Georgia Power with its rate hikes for both nuclear and natural gas?