Australia’s Macquarie Group Invests in South African Wind Farms

  • A new joint venture between the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Green Investment Group, owned by multinational investment giant Macquarie, will invest £14 million into clean energy projects across South Africa.
  • The announcement was made by UK Climate Investments (UKCI) and funding partners H1 Holdings, who will support the development of 254MWs in renewable energy projects in the country.
  • Projects included in the scope of the investment include the 4MW Kruisvallei Hydro project in the Free State province, the 140MW Kangnas Wind Farm, and the 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm, in the countries North and Western Cape provinces respectively.

The two wind farms are currently being built by the Spanish-German company Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. It will provide equipment and build a set of 109 onshore wind turbines equipped with SWT-2.3-108 turbines, each with a nominal capacity of 2.3 MW and a 108 m diameter rotor, for a combined capacity of 250 MW.

A total of €520 million has been injected by several investors. The two wind farms are part of the South African Renewable Energy Supply Programme (REIPPP), launched by the South African government to encourage IPPs to invest in the rainbow nation.

The projects will generate enough clean electricity to power 200,000 homes per year, and prevent approximately 844,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. All three projects are expected to be completed by year end.

Skills development, a focal area for the country, will see 40% of construction, operations and maintenance staff from local communities.

Richard Abel, managing director of UKCI, said: “Over 90% of electricity generation capacity in South Africa currently relies on fossil fuels. Our partnership with H1 Holdings supports the country’s transition to a new energy mix – promoting cleaner growth in southern Africa’s largest economy whilst stimulating economic development in rural areas and supporting increased BEE participation in the renewables sector.”

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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