Mainstream Assistant Project Manager Aniqah Misbach hands the key to Noupoort Wind Farm to Plant Manager Dennis Solomon
Noupoort Wind Farm has been officially declared operational by Mr Mzwandile Toto, District Mayor of Umsobumvo Municipality, in a proud moment for the town of Noupoort, historically known for its railway activity in the eastern Karoo region.
During the inauguration ceremony, the official handover of the Noupoort Wind Farm, keys were passed from Aniqah Misbach, Assistant Project Manager for Mainstream Renewable Power, to Mr Dennis Solomon, the new Plant Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm.
Solomon said: “We are honoured to be welcomed by the people of Noupoort who have been incredibly supportive of our project during its construction. It is now our chance to give back to the community during our 20-year operational period, where we will be investing through our economic development programmes.”
Speaking at the inauguration, Mainstream Group Finance Director Terry Ryan said: “Today is of note because it is the first Round 3 wind farm to reach commercial operation. This is Mainstream’s fourth renewable energy project to reach commercial operation in South Africa. We also developed and built the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm as well as the Droogfontein and De Aar solar power facilities from Round 1. And we’re currently building two wind farms near Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape which are on track to start operating in December next year.
He continued: “One of the most significant things about this 80 megawatt wind powered generation facility is that it took just 17 months to build it, from start to finish. This is testament to the great team that came together to make it happen.”
Chris Antonopoulos, CEO of Lekela Power, the majority shareholder of the project, proudly cut the ribbon to signify the official activation of Noupoort Wind. “We have a focus on community investment throughout all of our projects to help create thriving and empowered communities including education, skills development, employment and enterprise, environment and energy investment,” he said.
Commercial activity in Noupoort was previously heavily dependent on the railway, which has largely dwindled due to the decline in rail activity. This makes the socio economic and enterprise development initiatives even more relevant to the local community of Noupoort than where wind energy projects are situated close to prosperous regions.
Noupoort Wind Farm is currently implementing various economic development projects, which include capacity building for existing and prospective entrepreneurs; local maths and science development programmes that incorporate science and computer labs as well as local wi-fi infrastructure.
Lekela Power, a joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power, is a pan-African renewable energy platform, with more than 1,300MW of wind and solar power projects in its portfolio. South Africa is an important renewable energy hub for the group which has a total of 360MW in assets, of which two wind farms are currently still in construction.
One of the most significant things about this 80 megawatt wind powered generation facility is that it took just 17 months to build it, from start to finish. This is testament to the great team that came together to make it happen.
Group Finance Director, Mainstream Renewable Power
The Noupoort Community Trust, which owns a 5% share in Noupoort Wind Farm, has been equally funded by the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Noupoort Wind Farm Shareholder. A local community Trustee has already been appointed. The Trust was established to carry out public benefit activities in the local community. Other members of the consortium that own Noupoort Wind Farm include: Thebe Investment Corporation; The IDEAS Managed Fund; Futuregrowth Asset Management; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital.
Genesis Eco-Energy MD, Davin Chown, said: “Having been involved in the development of this project since its inception it’s heartening to see Noupoort Wind Farm entering into commercial operation.” All 35 turbines of this ZAR1.9billion, 80 MW wind farm are now producing clean renewable electrical energy to meet the needs of almost 70 000 average South African households. Noupoort Wind Farm achieved its Commercial Operations Date on schedule and on budget.
Noupoort Wind Farm
Noupoort Wind Farm achieved Commercial Operations Date (COD) on schedule and on budget, making it the first wind farm to successfully achieve operation as part of Bid Window 3, of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
All 35 turbines of this ZAR1.9 billion, 79 MW wind farm, have been commissioned and connected to the Eskom Grid and the project satisfied all of Eskom’s requirements on 11 July 2016. Noupoort Wind Farm has a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Department of Energy.
Mainstream Asset Management South Africa manages the Operations of the Wind Farm.
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