The 138 MW Gouda wind farm, in the Western Cape, has officially entered commercial operations.
The project was selected by the Department of Energy following the second bid-window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
To date 92 renewables projects, with a nominal capacity of 6 243 MW, have been procured through the REIPPPP process and bidding for a so-called “expedited” round to procure a further 1 800 MW is set to close on October 1.
The Gouda plant, which is located in the Drakenstein municipality, consists of 46 turbines and has been developed by a consortium comprising ACCIONA Energy (51%), of Spain, and South African construction group Aveng (29%). Other partners include the Soul City Broad-Based Empowerment Company and a community development entity, which each have a 10% stake.
In the same round the consortium was awarded the Sishen Solar Plant in the Northern Cape, which has a capacity of 94.3 MW. It entered service in November last year.
ACCIONA Energy South Africa CEO Rafael Esteban says the 3 MW patented turbines were designed and manufactured by the group’s Windpower division. The turbines have a rotor diameter of 100 m and are mounted on 100-m-high concrete towers.
ACCIONA Energy plans to bid in the upcoming rounds of the REIPPPP and its Windpower unit is also negotiating the supply of wind turbines to companies developing wind projects in South Africa.
Aveng Capital Partners’ Dharmesh Kalyan says the Gouda and Sishen projects form part of a larger portfolio of private infrastructure and concession-type projects delivered and partially owned by Aveng. He said the unit would continue to work with developers and investment partners to deliver independent power producer and public–private partnerships across South Africa and selected African markets.