The development consortium consisting of SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects; the Kensani Group, an investment player in South Africa; and Intikon Energy, a South African developer of renewable energy projects, has closed project financing for the 96 MW Jasper Solar Energy Project.
Notably, the project represents Google's first renewable energy effort in Africa, with a $12 million equity investment. The company has committed more than $1 billion to renewable energy projects worldwide.
Other equity investors include the Public Investment Corp., Kensani Capital Investments, SolarReserve, Intikon, Development Bank of South Africa and the P.E.A.C.E. Humansrus Fund, with Rand Merchant Bank providing preference share equity.
The Jasper project was selected by the South Africa Department of Energy in May 2012 in the second round of bids under the South Africa Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).
‘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,’ says Rick Needham, Google's director of energy and sustainability.
The Jasper project has executed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom, the South African power utility. According to the development consortium, the project cost of approximately $260 million will make this one of the largest PV projects in Africa.