Google

Google-owned Makani, a wind energy company at Alameda Point, moved one step closer last week to full-scale testing of its flying electricity kite. The novel invention made a rare public appearance at the company’s test site near the USS Hornet to fine-tune the docking maneuver. It will be deployed at a test site being readied in Hawaii where it will reach an altitude of 1,100 feet.

Commuters who used the High Street Bridge on April Fools’ Day found themselves tangled in a protest that had little to do with the shenanigans some expect on that special day. Instead they were witnessing a protest that involved a pair of buses taking employees to Silicon Valley giants Apple and Google. 

Protesters had targeted “Google buses” in Oakland and San Francisco before. The April Fools’ Day escapade marked the first time they had visited Alameda, focusing their efforts on buses on the way to the Park & Ride on Island Drive next to the Grandview Pavilion.

While the marathon City Council meeting focused largely on the rental crisis in town (see story on this page), the 10-and-one-half hour session that began with a closed session at 5:30 p.m. and recessed at 3:59 a.m. covered other topics. These included two that touched on Alameda Point. 

Councilmembers first met in closed session to hear updates on negotiations with various employee organizations, including those that represent non-sworn employees of the police department, electrical workers and managers. 

The Google-owned wind energy company, Makani Power, has announced it will expand its presence at Alameda Point. Google has renewed Makani’s lease for up to 21 years with an additional 110,000 square feet of industrial space in a former naval airplane hangar. The company currently leases 17,000 square feet.

The lease gives Google the first right to negotiate for an additional 367,000 square feet in immediately adjacent hangars when those properties become available. Google will also have the option to purchase the buildings should the city make them available in the future.

Internet giant’s transport plan draws wrath of protesters

Google launched a private ferry service from the Harbor Bay ferry terminal last Monday.

According to the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA), the agency that operates San Francisco Bay Ferry, the Internet giant is providing a trial private ferry service for five days between the Harbor Bay terminal and Redwood City. WETA stated in a press release that announced the service, Google is paying $275 per landing. The trial runs through tomorrow.