Global internet search giant Google is reportedly interested in financing Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya.
According to reports it would be the largest wind project in Africa and would be a huge bonus for Kenya where less than 25 percent of the population has access to power.
CNBC has reported that Google would likely be required to invest more than $700 million for the project. And it would be a minority stakeholder if the deal is finalized. Spanning 40,000 acres the 310-megawatt project is expected to boost Kenya’s installed energy capacity by 20 percent.
Previously Google had invested in Africa in 2013. It provided $12 million to Jasper Power Project in South Africa, which was one of the largest on the continent.
Kwame Parker, the head of power and infrastructure for East Africa, Standard Bank, told CNBC that Google’s investment would be “a significant vote of confidence for investors considering entry into the power sector in Africa.”
Google’s investment would also help attract US funding of $250 million that the country has set aside under President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative.
One of the conditions that made projects in Africa eligible for the US funding under the power Africa initiative was that they should have “meaningful involvement of the US private sector”.
The search giant has already shown interest in developing new technology for the wind energy sector. Its Makani wind turbines fly in the air like kites and are able to tap the better wind potential available at higher altitudes.
Ajith Kumar S