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Wind News

Raising distributed-generation licensing threshold to 50 MW would unlock at least 5 000 MW in five years, survey shows  

By: Terence Creamer     20th January 2021 Lifting the licensing threshold for distributed-generation projects to 50 MW or higher could unlock an estimated 5 000 MW of additional capacity in five years and go a long way to rapidly easing South Africa’s debilitating power supply constraints. This is the conclusion of a Meridian Economics... 

Clir provides software to enhance Lake Turkana Wind Power wind farm

By: Donna Slater     18th January 2021 Renewable energy software company Clir Renewables has formed a partnership agreement with renewable energy generator Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP). The partnership will result in Clir enhancing LTWP’s wind farm performance tracking and support its Kenya-based team in realising potential... 

Shearwater developing SMR, hydrogen project in North Wales

By: Donna Slater     15th January 2021 UK-based hybrid clean energy company Shearwater Energy is developing a wind small modular reactor (SMR) and hydrogen production hybrid energy project in North Wales. The project will provide 3 GW of zero-carbon energy and is also expected to produce over three-million kilograms of green hydrogen... 

Opinion: Renewables in Africa must deliver more than just power

13th January 2021 Amid concerns over energy supply, the renewables sector enters a new decade with impetus to boost socioeconomic development, writes Chris Antonopoulos. South Africa has entered a new decade with much to occupy its business community. For Lekela Power, the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19... 

Opinion: Renewables in Africa must deliver more than just power
Chris Antonopoulos

BioTherm's Excelsior Wind Energy Facility has started commercial operations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     7th January 2021 Pan-African renewable power producer company BioTherm Energy, backed by emerging market investor Actis, has announced the official start of operations at its Excelsior Wind Energy Facility at the end of 2020. This marks the completion of its third Independent Power Producer (IPP) project in South... 

BioTherm's Excelsior Wind Energy Facility has started commercial operations
Excelsior Wind farm

Assessment tool helps developers minimise wind turbine risk to eagles

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th January 2021 Researchers from the Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Fitztitute) at the University of Cape Town (UCT), HawkWatch International and the University of Amsterdam have developed a new tool that offers developers more accurate guidance on where to safely build wind farms to prevent birds... 

Assessment tool helps developers minimise wind turbine risk to eagles

Nxuba Wind Farm enters commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     4th January 2021 Renewable energy developer and operator Enel Group’s South African renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power (EGP) has successfully reached commercial operation of its 140 MW Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape. The project, built at a cost of about €200-million, is expected to generate 460... 

IFC extends $200m loan to Nedbank to increase renewable energy financing

By: Donna Slater     4th January 2021 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Nedbank have partnered to increase financing for renewable energy projects in South Africa in an effort to help the country transition to cleaner forms of power, reduce greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and create... 

Siemens Gamesa seals first wind farm project in Ethiopia

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     4th January 2021 Engineering company Siemens Gamesa will deliver 29 SG 3.4-132 wind turbines to State-owned utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) for the Assela project − a 100 MW wind farm that will help power over 400 000 Ethiopian households. The wind farm is set to be commissioned by spring 2023 and is... 

Commission recommends approval of Engie's buyout of Xina CSP

By: Creamer Media Reporter      18th December 2020 The Competition Commission has recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction whereby Engie intends to acquire Xina Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) and Xina CSP Operations & Maintenance (O&M), without conditions. In South Africa, the Engie Group supplies a mix of... 

120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility connected to the grid

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th December 2020 The 120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility, in the Eastern Cape, is the latest wind farm to be connected to South Africa's national grid.  “We are pleased to announce the successful commissioning of all 48 wind turbine generators as the year draws to an end and we prepare to have our portfolio... 

120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility connected to the grid

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity 

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 The roll-out of renewable energy at the scale envisaged in South Africa’s official electricity plan to 2030 presents a “remarkable” industrialisation opportunity, the leader of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) project team, Francis Jackson, argues. Jackson, who is also a... 

South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity
Completed tower sections manufactured by DCD Wind Towers, which subsequently closed down as a result of a protracted Eskom-induced procurement hiatus

Wind association lauds S Africa govt’s policy progress

11th December 2020 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) has applauded the South African government for the progress made in policy over the last 12 months, beginning with the gazetting of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019) and all the hard work done, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, to ensure... 

Wind association lauds S Africa  govt’s policy progress
KANGAS WIND FARM The first bid window four wind farm, in the Northern Cape, to come on stream as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

By: Terence Creamer     11th December 2020 Next year, 2021, is poised to be a pivotal one for South Africa’s renewable-energy sector – for real this time! The industry will have an opportunity, finally, to participate in the fifth bid window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the bid... 

South Africa’s biggest power shift in over a generation holds big promise, and some risk

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy 

By: Donna Slater     10th December 2020 Financial services company Standard Bank Group has published its Fossil Fuels Financing Policy (FFFP) as part of its efforts to improve its management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.   This follows the 2019 adoption of... 

Standard Bank publishes climate-change-mitigating fossil fuels financing policy

2020s a ‘once-in-generation opportunity’ to scale job-rich, zero-carbon industries

By: Terence Creamer     10th December 2020 The 2020s represent a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” for countries, companies and investors to scale zero-carbon industries that will stimulate growth, support more resilient economies and create millions of jobs, a newly released global report argues. Titled ‘The Paris Effect: How the... 

2020s a ‘once-in-generation opportunity’ to scale job-rich, zero-carbon industries

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out 

By: Terence Creamer     3rd December 2020 The planned growth of South Africa’s wind-energy sector over the coming decade, and beyond, will require a material upscaling of the country’s training infrastructure to ensure that there are sufficient South African wind technicians trained to support the building and maintenance of an expanding... 

Upscaling of wind technician training needed to support 14.4 GW roll-out
Photo by Saretec
Trainee wind technicians being put through their paces as the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre

Enel, Novartis sign ten-year renewable energy deal

By: Donna Slater     20th November 2020 Enel Group renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power and medicines company Novartis have signed a ten-year, 100% renewable virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) for 78 MW of renewable power. This pan-European VPPA will start in January 2022 and will help Novartis achieve its goals for 100%... 

Wind turbine prototype gives impressive results

20th November 2020 Energy solutions company GE Renewable Energy – which will be exhibiting at African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa 2020 – announced last month that its Haliade-X prototype, the world’s most powerful wind turbine operating to date, has been optimised and is now operating at a 13 MW power output.... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology 

By: Terence Creamer     19th November 2020 The World Bank reports that Eskom’s large-scale battery energy storage initiative, which will involve the installation of  battery energy storage systems (BESS) across up to eight sites, is being treated as a “flagship” initiative by the global development finance institution, which has committed... 

World Bank says ‘flagship’ Eskom battery scheme to open way for private investment in the technology
The Skaapvlei site, with the Sere wind farm in the background

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office reported on Tuesday that more than 60 respondents had signalled their intention, by the October 31 deadline for doing so, to participate in the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), through which... 

More than 60 power firms signal intention to bid into ‘emergency’ scheme – IPP Office
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IPP Office CEO Tshifhiwa Bernard Magoro

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near 

By: Terence Creamer     17th November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom expects to complete its socioeconomic impact studies by the end of March for the planned shutdown of the Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina power stations, in Mpumalanga, which are the first of ten coal plants scheduled for decommissioning by 2040. The decommissioning... 

Eskom moves to finalise just energy transition framework as shutdown of Grootvlei, Komati and Hendrina draws near

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations

By: Donna Slater     16th November 2020 The Kangnas Wind Farm on November 15 achieved its commercial operations date, making it the first Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window 4 wind farm in the Northern Cape to come on stream. Construction started in June, 2018 but was halted by the... 

Kangnas Wind Farm starts commercial operations
The Northern Cape-based Kangnas Wind Farm

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations  

By: Terence Creamer     12th November 2020 Mining group Glencore has issued a pre-qualifying tender for companies interested in supplying ‘alternative green’ electricity and storage solutions to its chrome and vanadium operations in South Africa. In the tender notice, Glencore Alloys states that the generation facilities should have a... 

Glencore tests market for self-generation solutions at chrome, vanadium operations

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC 

By: Donna Slater     11th November 2020 Assurance, advisory and tax services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reports – through its newly released Africa Oil & Gas Review, titled Energising a New Tomorrow – that the rampant spread of the Covid-19 pandemic globally has resulted in galvanising of commitments to a green energy... 

Covid-19 accelerates energy transitions - PwC
PwC energy strategy and infrastructure director James Mackay discusses how Covid-19 has sped up developments in the green energy sector.

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook 

By: Terence Creamer     10th November 2020 New additions of renewable-energy capacity worldwide will increase to a record level of almost 200 GW this year, shrugging off the demand slump that accompanied the Covid-19 crisis and which negatively affected the demand for fossil fuels. In addition, a new International Energy Agency (IEA)... 

Renewables display Covid immunity with record 2020 and strong outlook

Shift in strategy to maximise offering

By: Halima Frost     6th November 2020 Bearings manufacturer and distributor SKF held a virtual webinar last month to discuss the company’s three-pronged strategy shift to better meet client requirements.  “The strategy has encouraged every part of the company to rethink the way it works, especially SKF’s core research and development... 

Shift in strategy to maximise offering
LEARNING CURVE The ability to re-look at the company's research and development strategy has been important to SKF during the Covid-19 pandemic

Municipal power procurement trickier than just getting the go-ahead from Minister

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Although national government has opened the door for municipalities to procure electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), a lot of "regulatory ironing out" still needs to happen before power purchase agreements (PPAs) can be signed. In May last year, the Energy Minister gave... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly 

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2020 Leading wind-energy project developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are convinced that South Africa’s plan to install 1.6 GW of new wind capacity yearly until 2030 is more than sufficient to attract large-scale industrial investment. These captains of industry warn, however, that... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Renewables remain the lowest-cost source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with prices continuing to decline and making it a promising sector for development in most countries. The price of onshore wind, for example, declined from $86/MWh in 2009 to $53/MWh in 2019, representing... 

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th October 2020 With the commissioning of the final wind turbine at the 140 MW Nxuba Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape, Enel Green Power (EGP) has started with the generation and delivery of energy. The company says this is despite challenges attributed to Covid-19 containment measures and national lockdown. 

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy
Nxuba Wind Farm

UCT research unit shares considerations for REIPPPP going forward  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2020 Power auctions are fast becoming the dominant procurement method for renewable energy globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not without its crucial requirements for success. University of Cape Town (UCT) specialist research unit Power Futures Lab research fellow Wikus Kruger... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office   

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office
IPPO head of technical Pervelan Govender told participants attending the virtual 2020 edition of Windaba that there was potential grid and just-transition virtue to be derived from locating new renewables projects in Mpumalanga. Video & Editing: Kutlwano Matala & Nicholas Boyd. 16.10.2020

Fund establishes collective investment scheme with an infrastructure focus

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s first preference shares with an infrastructure focus were listed on October 22 on 4 Africa Exchange (4AX), Gaia Fund Managers and Kruger International Asset and Wealth Management confirmed. Gaia, together with Kruger, is listing Gaia Fund 1 (the Fund), which complies with... 

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’ 

By: Terence Creamer     13th October 2020 The International Energy Agency (IEA) has declared solar the “new king” of electricity, arguing that, while renewables technologies as a whole are poised for rapid growth over the coming several decades, solar will be “at the centre of this new constellation of electricity generation... 

Solar ‘new king’ of electricity, but shift to net zero will require ‘unwavering efforts from all’

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey

9th October 2020 In this opinion piece, ecologist, environmental consultant and conservation biologist Dr Rob Simmons writes about black blade mitigation can help wind farms to prevent thousands of bird deaths each year. The renewable energy industry promises green energy that comes with numerous benefits to the... 

Opinion: Black-blade mitigation – a new and exciting mitigation for wind turbines to reduce impacts to birds of prey
Photo by Bjorn Iuell
The black-blade set up on a cloudy day in Norway. The black-blade (far turbine) is little different to the shadow cast by the all-white blades in the foreground.

Perdekraal East Wind Farm achieves commercial operations

By: Simone Liedtke     8th October 2020 The Perdekraal East Wind Farm project has completed its grid code tests – the final milestone before achieving its commercial operations date (COD). This comes almost two years after construction began at the site. 

Perdekraal East Wind Farm achieves commercial operations
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