Google has announced that it is investing in the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Northern Kenya. This will be Google’s second clean energy investment in Africa. The first one was the Jasper Solar Power project in South Africa, where it invested more than $12 million.
Google is committing $2 billion to support 22 clean energy projects in the world. A statement issued for on behalf of Google by its Energy & Sustainability Director, Rick Needham, reads in part;
“We’ve continued to see a big opportunity in fast-growing markets with rich renewable energy resources, where both the need and the potential are great. In fact, many countries are turning to renewables to help connect the nearly two-thirds of Africans that don’t have power today.”
In the Lake Turkana Power Project, Google will join a group of international investors including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government’s development finance institution, and Vestas, which is also supplying the turbines for the wind farm. Google has announced that it will purchase Vestas’ 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana once it comes online.
“Lake Turkana Power Project offers one of the best wind resources in the world in terms of speed and consistency, and once operational, will deliver capacity equivalent to about 15% of Kenya’s current grid. It will also spur additional energy development in the region through a 266 mile transmission line that is being constructed to support the project. This transmission line will act as a backbone for the Kenyan grid and enable further geothermal capacity to be developed in the country’s Rift Valley.