The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project is expected to generate about 15% of Kenya’s electricity consumption, or about 1,400 gigawatt-hours of power per year.
In Google’s push to invest in renewable energy sources, the company is taking part in one of the largest developments in Africa; a wind power plant in Kenya that will be the biggest on the continent when complete.
The Lake Turkana Wind Power Project, which broke ground this past July, is expected to generate about 15% of Kenya’s electricity consumption, or about 1,400 gigawatt-hours of power per year. The location is ideal, as Lake Turkana features constant blowing wind, which tops out at about 24 mph. When the wind farm is complete, there will be 365 wind turbines along the shore generating sustainable energy.
The Washington Post reports that it’s the single biggest private investment in the history of Kenya, and the global wind energy company Vestas, in charge of installing the turbines, asserts it will be among the most efficient in the world. Kenya is looking to save more that $113 million per year on fuel costs.
Installations should begin as early as next year, and Vestas has agreed to maintain the farm for 15 years. In 2017, the project will go online, at which point Google will buy Vestas’ 12.5% stake in the endeavor.
Google has made a reputation for itself in recent years as a major investor in renewable energy. Recently, the company enlisted in the Jasper Power Project, a solar plant located in South Africa. It also launched Project Sunroof, which helps people identify their ability to install solar panels, as well as what the costs and savings would be.
And for wind farms, Google has investments in Iowa, Texas, Oklahoma, and elsewhere in the United States. Altogether, the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project makes the company’s 22nd renewable energy investment.
As the UN’s annual climate change conference is just around the corner, this announcement by Google is a timely reminder that large-scale investments in wind farms, as well as sources such as solar, don’t just benefit the countries they directly serve, they affect the future of the planet as a whole.
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