Search giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is pulling the plug on one of its high profile energy projects.

In a blog posting Tuesday, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of Operations, said the project focused on developing alternative energy that would be cheaper than coal had been cut as part of a larger “spring cleaning.”

“Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C)” made the list in Holzle’s blog as the last item among seven in what he labeled “More spring cleaning out of season.”

“This initiative was developed as an effort to drive down the cost of renewable energy, with an RE<C engineering team focused on researching improvements to solar power technology,” Holzle wrote.

“At this point, other institutions are better positioned than Google to take this research to the next level. So we’ve published our results to help others in the field continue to advance the state of power tower technology, and we’ve closed our efforts. We will continue our work to generate cleaner, more efficient energy—including our on-campus efforts, procuring renewable energy for our data centers, making our data centers even more efficient and investing more than $850 million in renewable energy technologies.”

Google’s “Green Energy Czar” Bill Weihl left the company earlier this month, a Google spokesperson told Reuters.

In 2009, Weihl told Reuters his goal was to develop technology that could produce renewable energy more cheaply than coal-fired energy.

“It is even odds, more or less,” Weihl said. “In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there.”

A Google spokesman said that Weihl had left Google earlier this month.

The program reductions are the latest in a series of cuts announced by Google under CEO Larry Page.

“To recap, we’re in the process of shutting down a number of products which haven’t had the impact we’d hoped for, integrating others as features into our broader product efforts, and ending several which have shown us a different path forward,” Holzle wrote.

Google, which operates one of its large data centers in the western North Carolina city of Lenoir, has invested in a number of big solar farm projects.

Read the full blog here.

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