Google, KKR Invest In 88 MW California Solar Project Portfolio


Google and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. LP (KKR) have partnered with Recurrent Energy to make an investment in a portfolio of solar PV facilities serving the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

The portfolio of projects is financed with a combination of debt and equity, which includes a significant equity investment from Google in addition to equity from SunTap Energy RE LLC, a new venture formed by KKR to invest in solar projects in the U.S.

The four solar PV facilities included in the transaction will provide 88 MW of power to SMUD and were the first to be awarded as part of the utility's feed-in-tariff program introduced in January 2010. Construction on three of the Sacramento, Calif., area projects will be complete early in 2012, with the fourth coming online later in the year. The projects are expected to generate nearly 160 GWh in their first year of operation, according to the companies.

Google's investment in these projects brings its total invested to more than $915 million in renewable energy projects and represents the company's first investment in the U.S. in utility-scale solar PV. SunTap is KKR's third renewable energy investment in 2011 and its first renewable investment in the U.S.

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