We have already mentioned the Googleplex Solar Power Project in which Google started covering their campus with solar panels. As of now, over 90% of the panels have been installed with panels covering eight buildings, and solar car-ports called solar trees filling the parking lots.

Recently Google launched a website dedicated to the roof-top solar fields so that anybody can monitor it. For example, in the last 24 hours they generated 9,466 kilowatt-hours of solar electricity at the Googleplex.  This is equivalent to:

  • 39,441 alarm clocks on for 24 hours
  • 5,913 dishwasher cycles
  • 78,883 flat-screen TVs
  • 20,194 hair-dryers for 15 minutes

Googleplex solar

The solar-panel project isn’t the only green project they’re working on though. Google has started another one, launching an effort to modify hybrid cars to give them the capability to plug-in to a power grid. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? This means that you’d be able to plug your car into a 120–volt outlet to charge it. Your car would run on electricity for the first 20–40 miles, significantly saving on gas.

Called RechargeIT, they say that their aim with this project is to “reduce C02 emissions, cut oil use and stabilize the electrical grid by accelerating the adoption of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle-to-grid-technology.” Part of their efforts include funding grants and investments to help push towards a “plug-in” revolution.

I have to give Google credit for this one.  They’re an Internet Search company yet they’ve spent time and money to develop a more efficient vehicle. As part of the project, they created a “test-fleet” of cars and collect information from them.  Right now they’re using the Toyota Prius which is one of the most popular hybrid cars available.  With their modifications, their Toyota Prius with Plug-in is capable of getting 73.6 MPG with 68% fewer CO2 emissions than the average car on the streets in America. This is compared to 40.9 miles per gallon without modifications to the Prius.

Next it would be nice to see car companies put more focus and attention on this endeavor. If an Internet Search company can do it, why can’t they?

Thanks for the tip Cory!