Internet giant Google continues its investments in clean energy, as the company has announced it will buy Vestas' 12.5% stake in Africa's largest wind project. Google will acquire Vestas' shares in the Lake Turkana wind farm, located in Kenya, once the 310 MW project goes online in 2017.
According to Vestas, the wind farm is expected to have an annual power production of more than 1,400 GWh, which will provide around 15% of Kenya's electricity needs based on current generation capacity. The project will feature 365 V52-850 kW turbines from Vestas and is owned by Lake Turkana Wind Power.
"We are making a commitment to invest in Lake Turkana [not only] 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," says John Woolard, Google's vice president of energy.
According to a company blog post, Google has now committed more than $2 billion to 22 clean energy projects, and this represents the firm's second such investment in Africa. Vestas notes that this agreement builds on a long-standing relationship between Google and the turbine manufacturer; the two have also partnered on the 270 MW Alta Wind Energy Center in Southern California and the powering of a Google data center in Finland.
Anders Runevad, Vestas' president and CEO, comments, "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."