The Excelsior Wind Energy Facility in South Africa is now operational. This is said to mark the completion of BioTherm Energy‘s third Independent Power Producer (IPP) in South Africa in 2020 as part of the fourth round of the Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The Excelsior Wind Energy Facility, a 33MW plant located in the the Western Cape, successfully achieved its commercial operations on 23 December 2020. It added to the already achieved commercial operation of the 132MW combined capacity of the solar plants Aggeneys and Konkoonsies II earlier in the year.
Excelsior Wind has a direct connection to the Vryheid substation, via an on-site substation and a dedicated 132kV power line. It will feed over 132GWh of renewable power into the national grid which will be enough to power an estimated 35000 South African homes per annum.
Excelsior Wind Energy Facility
The wind farm is constructed on 2300 hectares of land in Swellendam, an area known as one of the largest agricultural producing areas in the country. By the nature of wind power, over 90% of the land on the site will continue to yield agricultural crops as well as sustain livestock farming.
The construction of the plant commenced two years ago and provided jobs to about 380 workers, the majority of which came from its surrounding beneficiary communities within the Overberg Municipality. These very same community stand to benefit from the economic development programmes, through the 20-year operations period of the plant.
According to Robert Skjodt, BioTherm Energy’s chief executive the company ended 2020 on a high note, having led three IPP’s to commercial operations, whilst having connected their fourth project to the grid expecting commercial operation in the first quarter of this year further adding another 120MW to their generating capacity in South Africa.