Google is investing $280 million to help private US homeowners put solar panels on their rooftops. The money will allow installer SolarCity to offer solar systems to 10,000 homeowners for no money up front. In exchange, customers agree to pay a set price for the power produced by the panels. All you need is sunshine, and a roof, preferably facing south, not shaded by trees or structures.
A typical rooftop solar system can cost $25,000 to $30,000, but by charging SolarCity interest to use its money and reaping the benefits of federal and local renewable energy tax credits, Google can still earn a return on its investment. It is Google's seventh green energy investment, totaling more than $680 million. SolarCity offers service in Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, DC. (Read more Google stories.)