9 June 2015
A government tender to install 250 megawatts (MW) of wind generating capacity has been awarded to a consortium led by a wind and solar company based in Ireland.
The award was made under the fourth round of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The two wind farms represent an investment of about R5.9-billion.
South Africa is committed to introducing green energy into its power mix, 95% of which is coal at the moment, to redress its chronic electricity shortages.
The projects awarded under this round are: the 140MW Kangnas wind farm located in the Nama Khoi municipality in Northern Cape and the 110MW Perdekraal East wind farm located in the Cape Winelands district and Witzenberg local municipalities of Western Cape.
Mainstream Renewable Power is a global developer of renewable energy projects with a current output of 17 000MW from solar and wind farms in Ireland, South Africa, Chile and Canada.
“Renewable energy ticks three important boxes for South Africa’s energy needs,” said the company’s managing director of onshore procurement, construction and operations, Barry Lynch. “Firstly, the cost of these projects is now cheaper than new coal-fired generation.
“Secondly, they can be brought into commercial operation at the speed required and thirdly, they meet the scale needed to address the country’s growing electricity demand.”
Mainstream has been awarded a total of 848MW of wind and solar projects under this programme since the first award in 2011. It is already building three wind farms in Northern Cape totalling 360MW, which it was awarded under round three of the REIPPPP.
In 2014, the company delivered three wind and solar facilities into commercial operation under the first round of the programme.