Ajoint venture of Spain's Grupo Clavijo and Germany's Schletter GmbH has won a contract to install photovoltaic racks for South Africa's 96-MW Jasper Solar Energy Project, which counts Google as one of its investors.

It is Google's first renewable-energy play on the continent, where PV energy projects are emerging fast. A consortium, led by California-based SolarReserve, is developing the site at which Yingli solar panels are to be installed under an engineering, procurement and con-struction contract, led by Spain-based Iberdrola Engineering and South Africa's Group Five. The $260-million project in Northern Cape is expected to be the largest solar installation to date in Africa.

The country's energy department awarded the consortium the project in May 2012 under its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program and signed a 20-year power-purchase agreement with Eskom, the South Africa power utility.

Jasper Solar PV, which is expected to power at least 30,000 homes and provide about 1,600 direct and 5,100 indirect jobs, is the third project being developed by the consortium. It also is siting two 75-MW PV plants at Letsatsi and Lesedi, estimated to cost $586 million and slated for completion in mid-2014. All three projects will increase SolarReserve's PV portfolio in South Africa to 244 MW—representing 20% of the country's solar market—when the Jasper project is operational in December 2014.

Aside from Google, other private-equity funding is coming from Public Investment Corp., Kensani Capital Investments, SolarReserve, Intikon Energy, the Development Bank of South Africa, the P.E.A.C.E Humansrus Fund and the Rand Merchant Bank.