Google pumps R100m into SA energy

2013-05-30 21:36
Solar panels like this will be installed at Jasper. (Google)

Solar panels like this will be installed at Jasper. (Google)

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Cape Town – Internet search giant Google has invested R103m in a 96MW solar photovoltaic plant to be developed near Upington, a report said on Thursday.

According to Google, upon completion, the Jasper Power Project plant will be one of the largest solar installations on the continent, capable of generating enough electricity to power 30 000 homes.

The R2.6bn project is being developed and funded by renewable energy developer Intikon Energy, empowerment investment firm the Kensani Group, and US energy firm SolarReserve.

Other backers include Rand Merchant Bank, the Public Investment Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust.

Rick Needham of Google says they "look for projects that have transformative potential - that is, projects that will bolster the growth of the renewable energy industry and move the world closer to a clean energy future.

"The Jasper Power Project is one of those transformative opportunities."

According to Google, Jasper will create approximately 300 construction and 50 permanent jobs in the Northern Cape, as well as providing rural development and education programmes and setting aside a portion of total project revenues, amounting to approximately R260m over the life of the project, for enterprise and socio-economic development. 

This is Google's twelfth solar energy project.

VentureBeat reports that other Google solar energy investments include a R1.6bn investment in a Mojave Desert power tower, a R940m in photovoltaic projects throughout California, and a R2.8bn investment in rooftop solar power company, California-based SolarCity.

Read more on:    google  |  kimberley  |  solar
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