It was reported today that Google turned on the switches on their 1.6 MW rooftop solar infrastructure that will power up to one third of its Mountain View, California campus' energy needs. Learn more about Google's solar panel project.
On the same day, its philanthropic arm, Google.org, as part of its climate change initiatives, launched its RechargeIT program to beta test new plug-in hybrid and vehicle-to-grid car technologies. One angle Google is exploring is the use of renewable energy sources such as solar in plug-in hybrids; it will be connecting its test fleet of plug-in cars to solar charging stations on campus to demonstrate the role that renewable electricity can play in replacing gasoline and other fossil fuels in the transportation sector.
Relatedly, Akeena Solar, one of the U.S.'s biggest solar system integrators, announced that this Thursday on June 21 it would unveil solar-powered electric car-charging stations, the equivalent of gas stations dispensing solar energy instead of gasoline.
Meanwhile, shares of Ascent Solar (Nasdaq: ASTI) edged up 9% last Friday after shareholders approved the options Ascent granted to Norsk Hydro (NYSE:NHY) which will enable Hydro, the third-largest integrated aluminum supplier in the world, to increase its equity stake in Ascent Solar from its current 23% to up to 35%. Ascent's stock price rose to $8.02 today, up substantially from $2.45 earlier this year. Hydro's relationship with Ascent is expected to be enhanced. Already, it is reported that the two companies are collaborating in the joint development of a building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product line