Google invests in solar energy project in South Africa

Greentech Lead America: Search engine giant Google is investing around $12 million in solar energy projects in South Africa, Highlight Press reported.

The company has invested in Jasper Power Plant project being developed by SolarReserve, a California-based developer of utility-scale solar energy projects. Yingli, a leading photovoltaic manufacturer based in China, is supplying the solar panels for the project.

SolarReserve’s Jasper PV Project, located in South Africa’s Northern Cape, will produce 96 MW of clean energy for South African residents, in addition to creating jobs and helping to stimulate the local economy.

South Africa has become a hotspot for solar energy companies. The country aims to install 20,000 MW of renewable energy over the next 15 years. In 2012 South Africa reported the largest investments in clean and renewable energies in the world.

SolarReserve joined with the Kensani Group, an experienced empowered infrastructure player in the Southern African market, and Intikon Energy, a South African developer of renewable energy projects, to develop three large-scale photovoltaic solar energy projects in South Africa.

Combined with SolarReserve’s other two 75 megawatt (MWDC) projects, the Letsatsi and Lesedi PV plants, SolarReserve is currently developing projects that will generate up to 238 MW of clean energy and account for a 20 percent share of South Africa’s solar energy market.

SolarReserve also has two 100 MW solar thermal power plants in the works in South Africa.

With a plan to produce around 18 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, the South African Department of Energy has awarded contracts to many renewable energy innovations with the country’s state-operated energy utility Eskom.