Noupoort wind farm connects to Eskom grid 12 months into construction
Mainstream today announces its 80 megawatt Noupoort Wind Farm in South Africa’s Northern Cape is now connected to the Eskom grid and commissioning of wind turbines has commenced, one year to the day since it reached financial close and started construction. This ZAR1.9 billion wind farm is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by July 2016 and is the first wind farm to be connected to the grid under Round 3 of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Construction Manager, Mainstream’s Martina Flanagan said: “Not only is renewable energy generation cheaper than fossil fuels and nuclear but this shows it can be built in a fraction of the time. South Africa needs large quantities of low-cost power and it needs it now. This wind farm ticks all those boxes. She continued: “One year to the day since we reached financial close and started construction, the wind farm is connected to the grid and the wind turbines are being commissioned. This wind farm will supply enough renewable electricity to power more than 69,000 South African homes.” Eddie O’Connor, founder and CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power, comments: “We are incredibly proud to play such an important role in helping to build South Africa’s new energy capacity. This project is set to deliver 80 megawatts of much-needed sustainable and low carbon electricity to the country’s power grid.” Mainstream has an additional two wind farms currently in construction in South Africa under the government’s highly successful REIPPPP and a further two wind farms expected to reach financial close this year. The company delivered the Jeffreys Bay wind farm and two solar PV plants into operation in 2014 under the first round of the programme.
Notes to Editor:Project milestones achieved to date:
- Construction of the wind turbine generator foundations started in May 2015.
- All 35 turbine foundations were completed, before schedule, on 20 November 2015.
- Transportation of the various components commenced on 19 October 2015.
- 20 of the project’s total 35 wind turbines have already been erected.
About Noupoort Wind FarmThe Noupoort Wind farm is owned by a consortium dedicated to providing clean, renewable energy to the people of South Africa:
- Lekela Power: Lekela Power is a pan-African renewable energy platform which aims to provide 1,000MW of wind and solar power by 2018. It is a 60:40 joint venture between Actis, the global pan-emerging market private equity firm, and Mainstream Renewable Power, the global wind and solar company.
- Noupoort Renewable Energy Trust: Established by the project company with the objective of carrying out public benefit activities to benefit the local community in the areas of enterprise development, education and health.
- Thebe Investment Corporation; one of South Africa’s most established broad based BEE Investment management companies and leading investor in the Energy & Resources sector (advised by Bridge Capital).
- The IDEAS Managed Fund, is managed by Old Mutual Alternative Investments, a subsidiary of Old Mutual Investment Group one of Africa’s largest independent investment managers.
- Futuregrowth Asset Management, a pathfinder in fixed interest and developmental investing.
- Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital. Genesis Eco Energy is a pioneering South African renewable energy developer which has been active in South Africa since 2001.