Internet giant Google has announced that it will invest $12m in a 96MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in South Africa.
Located in the Northern Cape near the town of Kimberly, the $260m Jasper Solar Energy Project, is being developed by a consortium consisting of SolarReserve, Kensani and Intikon Energy.
After completion, the project will be capable of generating enough electricity for about 30,000 homes in South Africa.
The South African government is planning to generate 18GW of renewable energy by 2030 through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).
The Jasper project is situated near the 75MW Lesedi solar energy project, which broke ground in February 2013.
Both projects, along with the Letsatsi Project situated near Bloemfontein, will increase the consortium’s total portfolio of solar projects to 244MW, accounting to a 20% share of South Africa’s solar energy market.
The consortium is also planning to bid for further 1,500MW of solar photovoltaic projects in subsequent bid rounds.
Google energy and sustainability director Rick Needham said: "The Jasper Power Project and other projects being developed through the REIPPPP have the potential to transform the South African power grid, and we’re proud to be a part of that effort."
Yingli Green Energy has agreed to supply equipment for the project, while South African energy firm Eskom will purchase solar power generated from the Jasper project for 20 years.
Image: Jasper Solar Energy Project will be capable of generating enough electricity for about 30,000 homes in South Africa. Photo: Courtesy of Google.