Google backs out of plan to buy into Kenya-based wind farm project

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Wind turbines at the Lake Turkana Wind Power project./File/LWTP
Lake Turkana Wind Farm Project
FILE PHOTO – REUTERS

Vestas Wind Systems A/S is shopping for a new buyer for its 12.5% stake in Africa’s largest wind farm after its agreement with Alphabet Inc.’s unit on a potential purchase was canceled.

“Due to delays relating primarily to the transmission line, the Vestas’ agreement with Google was canceled in 2019,” spokesman Anders Riis said in an emailed response to questions. “As Vestas’ strategy doesn’t include being a long-term wind park owner, we’re currently in commercial dialogue with potential buyers of our shares.”

The 620 million euros ($679 million) Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya would have been Google’s second renewable energy investment on the continent after the Jasper solar project in South Africa’s Northern Cape in 2013. The 310-megawatt farm’s high-voltage link to the grid, scheduled for completion in October 2016, was delayed by two years after contractors were changed. The Kenyan government was forced to pay 85.6 million euros in compensation to LTWP for the delays.

Alphabet did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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