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South Africa to build $258mn wind farm
May 21, 2013, 8:25 am


The wind farm is due to be in full commercial operation by the end of 2014 [AP]

In a further move in developing clean energy, South Africa will build a wind farm which will generate up to 100 MW of power, it was announced on Monday.

With the capacity to avoid nearly 4.7 million tonnes of carbon emissions over 20 years, the project is billed as a milestone for Eskom’s move towards a cleaner energy mix.

The 2.4 billion rand ($258 million) project will be undertaken by Eskom, the state-owned electricity utility, according to the Government Communication and Information System.

Eskom has got the license to build the wind farm from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).

Located near Koekenaap in the Western Cape, the wind farm is due to be in full commercial operation by the end of 2014.

It would have an average annual energy production of about 233,000 MWh, enough clean energy to power about 97,000 standard homes.

The wind farm “is our first large-scale renewable energy project,” said Eskom chief executive Brian Dames.

“It demonstrates our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and to investing in a sustainable energy future” added Dames.

The project has been funded by a group of development finance institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund and Agence Francaise de Developpement.

Eskom says it has already signed power purchase agreements with the independent power producers procured by the Department of Energy in Phases 1 and 2 of the programme and stands ready to connect the new producers to the national grid.

South Africa was the fastest-growing clean energy market in the G20, with investment growing from less than $30 million in 2011 to $5.5 billion in 2012.

China and South Africa were singled out by a news Pew Report as leading record investment drives for clean energy.

The South African wind sector attracted $1.1 billion in 2012 according to the Who’s Winning the Clean Energy Race? 2012 Edition of Pew Research notes.

TBP with inputs from Agencies