Enel Green Power, a subsidiary of the Italian Enel Group, has inaugurated the 140 MW Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, after approximately two years of construction.
According to Enel Green Power, the wind power project consumed about 2 million hours of work from the pre-assembly stage which involved the installation of as many as 17 concrete tower keystones (a portion of sections), followed by the main erection of the structure that included the installation of the five preassembled tower sections and other related operations such as the installation of horizontal joints and tensioning cables.
Other project key players
EGP procured the services of private individuals and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the Blue Crane Route and Raymond Mhlaba local municipalities, which comprise Adelaide, Cookhouse, Somerset East, and Bedford, to help implement the wind project. The project was financed by Nedbank and Absa through a loan of 950 million euros which accounts for 80% of the entire cost of the project. The remaining €250 million was invested by Enel Green Power under equity.
Enel Green Power will operate the wind farm and inject the electricity produced into the grid of the South African public utility Eskom for a period of 20 years, under a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed by the two companies.
Development under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Supply Programme
The Nxuba wind farm is one of the five projects awarded to Enel Green Power under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Supply Programme (REIPPP). The other four parks are under development at Oyster Bay, Garob, Karusa and Soetwater and they will each have a capacity of 140 MW. Upon completion, all these projects, including the Nxuba wind farm, will supply a total of 700 MW to the South African electricity grid. Additionally, the installations are also expected to prevent the emission of 500 000 tonnes of CO2 per year.