Google’s patience runs out and drops plans to buy stake at Africa’s largest wind farm project located in Kenya

Lake Turkana Wind Power
  • Google has cancelled plans to buy a 12.5% stake in Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP).
  • The 310 megawatt (MW) Lake Turkana wind farm was initially set for completion in 2017, after which Google had committed to buy the stake from Vestas.
  • Once completed, the renewable energy project is expected to provide 15% of Kenya’s total electricity needs.

Delays to complete, Africa’s largest wind farm project located in Kenya has resulted in American technology giant, Google, patience running out.

Google has cancelled plans to buy a 12.5% stake in Kenya’s Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP), which was officially commissioned last July.

On Monday, Denmark based firm, Vestas, disclosed that Google had ended the quest to buy its stake in LTWP after delays in the project.

“Due to delays relating primarily to the transmission line, the Vestas agreement with Google was cancelled in 2019,” said Vestas in a statement published by Danish media.

The 310 megawatt (MW) Lake Turkana wind farm was initially set for completion in 2017, after which Google had committed to buy the stake from Vestas. However, the delays led to Google cancelling the agreement last year, Vestas said.

“As Vestas’ strategy doesn’t include being a long-term wind park owner, we’re currently in commercial dialogues with potential buyers of our shares.”

Google was not immediately available for comment.

Lake Turkana Wind Power project was ready for launch in 2017, but remained idle due to delays in installing transmission lines needed to get the clean power to the national grid and customers.

The 428 km powerline from Loiyangalani in northern Kenya to Suswa in Narok County was set to be completed by October 2016, but demands for compensation from landowners along the route and other issues delayed it.

The line was further delayed after a Spanish firm contracted to build the line went under. Kenya then tapped a Chinese company to complete it.

Once completed, the renewable energy project is expected to provide 15% of Kenya’s total electricity needs.

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