Google has invested $12 million (just over R120 million at today’s exchange rates) in the Jasper Power Project, a 96 megawatt solar photovoltaic plant in the Northern Cape. The Jasper installation, when complete, will be using solar energy to power some 30,000 South African homes.
Google isn’t alone in the initiative, the project that they’ve invested in was the brainchild of SolarReserve, Intikon Energy and the Kensani Group and the Public Investment Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust are also involved in backing the Jasper Power Project.
Google South Africa’s Luke Mckend said in a statement “When we consider investing in a renewable energy project, we focus on two key factors. First, we only pursue investments that we believe make financial sense. South Africa’s strong resources and supportive policies for renewable energy make it an attractive place to invest — which is why it had the highest growth in clean energy investment in the world last year. Second, we 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, and the Department of Energy’s innovative REIPPPP has played a key role in making it possible.”
The Jasper Power Project is expected to provide 300 construction jobs in the area and 50 permanent positions upon completion. Some of the project’s revenues, “amounting to approximately $26M over the life of the project”, will be set aside for enterprise and socioeconomic development.
SolarReserve CEO Kevin Smith said ““We are proud to be part of South Africa’s progressive program to advance clean energy, and we are excited to have Google as a partner. Our Jasper project will provide substantial, long-term economic benefits to the region and help the country meet its impressive clean energy goals.”