Google invests in big South African solar project

Gigaom

Google (s GOOG) is taking its strategy of investing millions of dollars into clean power projects in the U.S. and focusing it on Africa for the first time. On Thursday, the search engine giant announced that it’s invested $12 million into a large — 96 MW — solar panel farm in South Africa.

When built, the solar project, called Jasper Power Project, will be able to deliver enough clean power for the equivalent of 30,000 South African homes and will be built in the Northern Cape province near the town of Kimberly. California-based solar developer SolarReserve is working with South African clean power companies Intikon Energy and Kensani Group to build the project.

solarpanelThe Jasper solar farm will cost $260 million, and the developers have closed on the financing, including other investments from Public Investment Corporation, Development Bank of South Africa and the PEACE Humansrus Trust. The same developer group…

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