Multinational power company Enel, through its renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power, has started construction on its Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, in the Northern Cape.
The plants, each with an installed capacity of 140 MW, are expected to be completed by the end of 2021 at a cost of over €200-million each.
Enel Green Power CEO Antonio Cammisecra says the company is building five wind projects in South Africa, for a total installed capacity of around 700 MW, which is “further evidence of [the company’s] ability to supply emission-free energy to . . . support its transition towards renewables”.
He points out that the pipeline of projects under construction is in addition to the portfolio of wind and solar assets that Enel Green Power has already commissioned owing to the commitment with which it had worked in South Africa since the start of development activities in 2011.
“We are showing the same determination when it comes to innovation and sustainability, as all of our plants are being built through state-of-the-art technology and sustainable construction practices, while creating local employment and income opportunities,” Cammisecra comments.
Karusa and Soetwater are the fourth and fifth wind projects Enel Green Power has started building in South Africa since the start of this year, in line with its investment programme in the country.
The other projects, with an installed capacity of 140 MW each, are Nxuba and Oyster Bay, in the Northern Cape, and Garob, in the Eastern Cape.
All five projects were awarded to Enel in Round 4 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The wind farms will be supported by 20-year power supply agreements with South African State-owned energy utility Eskom.
During the construction phase of Karusa and Soetwater, the state-of-the-art tools and practices Enel Green Power is expected to use include advanced digital platforms and software solutions that will monitor and remotely support all site activities and plant commissioning, digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components.
These processes and tools are aimed at enabling swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams.
Enel Green Power will also continue to employ local staff, as well as hire local contractors, in the construction process, with the aim to promote meaningful socioeconomic and enterprise development.