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Google, SolarCity launch fund for solar projects

Workers install solar panels at a farm
Workers install solar panels at a farm

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Google and solar power company SolarCity formed a partnership to create a new $280 million fund designated for residential solar projects -- the largest of its kind in the United States.

It also represents the most money that Google has invested in the clean energy sector, the world's largest Internet search engine said on Tuesday. Google has put $680 million toward clean-energy technologies.

Customers who want solar panels installed on their homes but do not want to make a big upfront investment, are able to tap the fund. SolarCity has more than 15,000 solar projects and finances about 80 percent of the its customers' solar systems.

SolarCity has 15 funds with seven different partners to finance $1.28 billion in projects.

"We're excited to be making our first investment in distributed residential solar," said Rick Needham, director of green business operations at Google.

(Reporting by Jennifer Saba, editing by Maureen Bavdek)