Monday, June 3, 2013

Google makes first renewable investment in Africa

Internet giant Google has made its first ever renewable energy investment in Africa.
Located in the Northern Cape province of South Africa, the $12 million Jasper Power Project has 96 megawatts of solar photovoltaic capacity.
The P.V. plant will be of the largest installations in the continent when completed, providing clean electricity to approximately 30,000 South African homes.
“South Africa’s strong resources and supportive policies for renewable energy make it an attractive place to invest—which is why it had the highest growth in clean energy investment in the world last year,” wrote Google in a blog post.
The project will be developed and funded by SolarReserve, Intikon Energy and the Kensani Group, and backed by Rand Merchant Bank, the Public Investment Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust.
Jasper will allow for the creation of around 300 jobs during the construction and 50 permanent jobs once operational, aiding to the region’s high unemployment rates. In addition, around $26 million of total project revenues will be set aside for rural development and education programs in the area.
“We believe this investment not only makes financial sense, but also has potential to help grow the renewable energy industry and move the world closer to a clean energy future,” said Google, which has committed over $1 billion to renewable energy investments.
It was in 2011 when the company made its first renewable energy investment in an 18.65 MW solar plant in Brandenburg, Germany. Among its other renewable energy projects include the 845 MW Shepherds Flat Wind Farm in Arlington, the 161 MW Spinning Spur Wind Farm in Texas and the 88 MW Recurrent Energy solar project in California.
To date, the company’s total nameplate capacity of its renewable energy investments stands at more than 2 GW. Combined, these projects could generate 5.66 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power around 500,000 households. – EcoSeed Staff