In its ongoing efforts to showcase the potential that renewables can play in boosting the security of energy supplies in South Africa, Enel Green Power (EGP) highlights its commitment to the country as it nears the completion of its Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape.
The company recently started construction of its Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, also in the Eastern Cape, which will each be able to generate more than 585 GWh annually and are expected to be completed in late 2021.
“The Nxuba wind farm, which recently celebrated the energising of its first turbine as well as its first KWh produced, has a capacity of about 140 MW,” explains William Price, Head of Enel Green Power in Southern Africa.
“We expect a production capacity of over 460 GWh per year. The green energy generated by the plant can avoid the annual emission of over 480,000 tonnes of CO2. Additionally, Nxuba’s turbines are composed of concrete towers, allowing for a long useful life of up to 50 years,” says Price.
The Enel Group recently set a new record by building approximately 3,029 MW of new renewable capacity in 2019 across the globe, around 190 MW (+6.5%) more than the previous year, which underscores the Group’s commitment to renewables and sustainability.
EGP’s operations in South Africa incorporate more than 520 MW in wind and solar plants in operation in the country, including solar plants in Upington (10 MW) and Adams (82.5 MW) in the Northern Cape. Additional solar plants include Pulida (82.5 MW) in the Free State, Tom Burke (66 MW) in Limpopo, and Paleishuewel (82.5 MW) in the Western Cape. Its existing wind farms include Nojoli (88 MW) and Gibson Bay (111 MW) in the Eastern Cape. Furthermore, EGP is building 5 additional wind farms of roughly 140 MW each, for a total of around 700 MW: in addition to the already mentioned Nxuba, Soetwater and Karusa, the company is building Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape region and Garob in the Northern Cape.
In South Africa, growth in the renewable energy sector is enabled by the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP), which is designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation. Over the past eight years, the programme has attracted 209.4 billion rand in committed private sector investments.
As Nxuba wind farm nears completion, the final steps will entail connecting all wind turbines to the grid to achieve full commissioning as per the Power Producer Agreement.
“The implementation of projects such as Nxuba, and the ones to follow, bear testimony to our commitment to unlocking the potential of the abundant renewable energy sources South Africa is blessed with alongside supporting the local economy,” concludes Price.