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Multibillion-rand deal for NC wind farms

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The five projects are expected to produce around 2.6 TWh each year

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THE NORTHERN Cape is set to become home to three multibillion-rand wind farms, each with a capacity of around 140 MW.

Enel Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA), the Enel Group’s South African renewables company, has signed all project financing agreements for up to 950 million euros, namely up to 80 percent of the overall investment of around 1.2 billion euros on a portfolio of five new wind projects, three to be constructed in the Northern Cape, totalling roughly 700 MW of capacity.

The three wind projects to be constructed in the Northern Cape include the Garob Project, a 135.93 MW wind power generation facility located in Prieska in the Siyathemba Municipality; Karusa Project, a 139.8 MW wind power generation facility, and the Soetwater project, a 139.4 MW wind power generation facility, both located in Sutherland in the Karoo Hoogland Municipality.

The total five facilities, namely Nxuba, Oyster Bay, Garob, Karusa and Soetwater, have a capacity of around 140 MW each.

The Enel Group is contributing around 230 million euros in equity in the construction of the five wind farms.

Following the signing of the agreements, also known as “financial close”, construction of the first project, Nxuba, is expected to start by the end of 2018.

“We have reached an important milestone in South Africa by achieving financial close on five major wind projects which confirms our continuing commitment to the country’s renewables sector, within a context of sustainable development. Enel Green Power will be supporting these processes by generating its emission-free energy in partnership with local shareholders and in co-operation with the local communities, according to our long-term vision of shared value creation,” Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel’s global renewable energies division Enel Green Power, said

The Garob, Karusa and Soetwater projects will be constructed in the Northern Cape, while the Oyster Bay and the Nxuba wind farms will be built in the Eastern Cape. The five wind farms were all awarded in round 4 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Each project is minority-owned by a local partner.

Following the start of construction on Nxuba, the construction of Oyster Bay and Garob is expected to start by the first half of 2019 and construction of Soetwater as well as Karusa is expected to start in the second half of the same year.

Nxuba is expected to be operational in the second half of 2020, Oyster Bay in the first half of 2021, while Garob, Soetwater and Karusa should be operational in the second half of 2021. By 2021, all five new wind farms are due to be up-and-running, bringing Enel Green Power’s total installed capacity in the country to more than 1.2 GW.

Once operational, the five projects are expected to produce around 2.6 TWh each year, saving the annual emission of roughly 2.7 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.