Google Invests in German Solar Plant

The plant should provide power for 5,000 homes in the area.

Google announced on April 7 a multi-million-dollar investment in a solar power plant outside Berlin. This the company's first clean energy project investment in Europe.

Google said it would plough $5.0 million into one of Germany's biggest solar plants, located in Brandenburg, the state surrounding Berlin. "Until the early 1990s, the site was used as a training ground by the Russian military. We're glad it has found a new use," the firm said in a posting on its European Public Policy Blog.

Google said the plant should provide power for 5,000 homes in the area. The investment still needs official approval. It has also invested in wind power projects in the United States.

The announcement came as the German government wrestles with its future nuclear energy policy in the midst of the nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

In the wake of the crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a three-month moratorium on an earlier pledge to extend the lifetime of Germany's 17 nuclear reactors and temporarily switched off seven pending safety checks.

The sooner Germany can be rid of nuclear power, the better, she said, vowing to accelerate progress towards cleaner forms of energy such as solar power.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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