Upon completion of the project in 2017, Google will acquire Vestas’ 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest wind farm, which will supply around 15% of Kenya’s electricity needs based on current generation capacity.
The share purchase agreement was recently announced in Washington, DC, in connection with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum. It builds on a long-standing relationship between Google and Vestas, which includes the 270-MW Alta Wind Energy Centre in southern California and the powering of a Google data centre in Finland.
The Lake Turkana wind park is expected to be one of the most efficient wind parks in the world, and have an annual power production of more than 1,400 GWh. The wind farm is owned by Lake Turkana Wind Power and is key to Kenya’s development goals.
Google’s investment is a leading example of the ability for companies to successfully invest in wind energy globally to achieve attractive financial returns and to scale up the deployment of renewable energy. This trend shows that whether a company is looking to power its own operations, reduce supply risk and price volatility, or contribute to combatting climate change, investing in wind power makes economic sense.
“We are making a commitment to invest in Lake Turkana because it makes financial sense, but also because it has the potential to have a massive impact on Kenya’s grid, helping to spur the deployment of renewable energy in one of the world’s fastest-growing countries,” said John Woolard, Vice President, Energy at Google. “We look forward to joining Vestas and others to help accelerate progress toward a future of clean energy in Kenya.”
Taking part in the announcement, Vestas Group President and CEO Anders Runevad said: “We commend Lake Turkana Wind Power for their ground-breaking work in bringing the project to this stage. We are extremely proud to provide the technology and service for a project that will be one of the most efficient wind parks in the world and which upon completion will include Google among its investors.”
Google’s investment in the Lake Turkana wind project will be its 22nd renewable energy project investment overall and second in Africa. Vestas will retain its equity stake in the project until its completion in 2017, upon which Google will formally join the Lake Turkana Wind Power investor group.
Filed Under: News, Projects