R.2.1bn for 420GWh wind farm in Eastern Cape

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South Africa will be getting a brand new wind farm in Gibson’s Bay in the Eastern Cape thanks to Enel Green Power receiving a massive loan of R2.1 billion rand ($170 million).

The new wind farm is expected to comprise of 37 wind turbines, with each producing around 3MW of electricity. When all the wind turbines are up and running, the total output of the plant would be 111MW and capable of generating about 420GWh of power a year. The electricity generated will be fed back into Eskom’s grid.

“The loan, secured by a parent company guarantee from Enel Green Power, is the first granted by KfW IPEX-Bank to the Enel Green Power Group. The agreement will provide EGP RSA with two separate lines of financing, with maturities of 7 and 17 years respectively, bearing an interest rate in line with the market benchmark,” the Italian company said in a statement.

According to Bloomberg, Enel Green Power has also started a training academy in the country, which aims to skill up around 1 000 people by June on how to install and sell small solar-power projects, like those used in residential areas.

While the project will no doubt add some much-needed capacity to Eskom’s overburdened grid, it pales in comparison to Africa’s largest wind farm.

Back in January, Kenya officially gave the go-ahead for the largest wind farm to be built in the country’s Lake Turkana region in the Rift Valley.

Once complete, the almost-400 wind turbines are expected to produce around 310MW of electricity, and, according to a media statement, will save Kenya approximately $178 million in fuel imports every year.

[Image – CC by 2.0/warrenski]

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