Google drops plan to buy a stake in the biggest Wind Farm in Africa

Vestas, the Danish wind turbine maker, declared that Google has dropped plans to buy a 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest wind farm. This news came out after delays to the project.

The wind farm in Kenya was formerly set for completion in 2017, after which Google had committed to buy the stake from Vestas and according to them, the delay led to Google canceling in 2019. The Lake Turkana wind farm which is located in Kenya, happens to be the sole largest functional wind farm in Africa. 

The wind farm provides 310MW of reliable, low cost energy to Kenya’s national grid. The LTWP consortium comprises of KP&P Africa B.V and Aldwych International as co-developers, Investment Fund for Developing Countries, Vestas Eastern Africa Limited, Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation Ltd, KLP Norfund Investments AS and Sandpiper.

The line was further delayed after a Spanish firm contracted to build the line went under. Kenya then tapped a Chinese company to complete it. The Lake Turkana wind farm is expected to provide 15 percent of Kenya’s total electricity needs.

Asides its online advertising business, Google also runs other ventures, including investments in renewable energy projects. It has invested billions of dollars in solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 5,475 megawatts to generate returns besides contributing to efforts in fighting climate change.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai said in a blog published last September that “In 2017, we became the first company of our size to match our entire annual electricity consumption with renewable energy (and then we did it again in 2018), as a result, we became the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in the world.”

Google now has an interest in 52 renewable energy projects around the world, committing more than $7 billion to construction that will create thousands of new jobs.

Google would also not comment on whether it is going to invest in another African renewable project after the Lake Turkana Wind Farm, but there is much reason to believe it will.

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