Google is to invest $80 million into solar-powered plants in a bid to secure power for its data centers in the future.

The plan is to build six new solar farms in the American Southwest, possibly in the desert regions of Arizona and Southern California.

Google, who are working along with investment firm KKR on this project, say that once the facilities are completed, they will generate 106MW of electricity at their peak. That is enough power to serve 17,000 US homes.

Goolge Solar Panels

It is hoped these plants will be online by early 2014.

“These investments are all part of our drive toward a clean energy future — where renewable energy is abundant, accessible and affordable,” wrote Google head of corporate finance Kojo Ako-Asare.

“By continuing to invest in renewable energy projects, purchasing clean energy for our operations and working with our utility partners to create new options for ourselves and for other companies interest in buying renewable energy, we’re working hard to make that future a reality.”

Google has been investing heavily in renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power. So far the company says it has more than $1 billion worth of investments in this area.

The company has revealed that it is also working with US utility provider Duke Electricity on a project that gives incentives for firms  that use alternative energy sources, as well as planning for a $600 million data center expansion.

It has been reported that Facebook too is pushing for greener energy sources. It has announced a plan to build a solely wind powered facility in Iowa.

[Image via Google Blogspot]