Renewable energy developer MetroWind reported on Thursday that its R550-million, 27 MW wind farm at Van Stadens, in the Eastern Cape, was poised to start supplying power to the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality (NMBM) within the next 13 months.
Located near to Port Elizabeth, the wind farm was expected to generate about 80-million kilowatt hours a year.
The project was named, along with 27 other wind and solar projects, as a preferred development during the first bid window under the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
Following the second bid window, which closed on March 5, the number of preferred projects increased to 47, representing 2 459.4 MW of potential renewables capacity to be introduced into South Africa’s power generation mix between 2014 and 2016.
In total, the DoE is aiming to procure a total of 3 725 MW under the REIPPP, which could stimulate a collective R100-billion-worth of private investment into South Africa’s electricity supply industry.
MetroWind director Ian Curry said construction at the MetroWind Van Stadens Wind Farm site should start during the third quarter of 2012 – Curry is also head of Basil Read Energy, which has a 35% interest in MetroWind.
The project, along with the other first-window REIPPP projects, was expected to reach financial closure during the course of July.
It had already been granted a 20-year generation licence by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, as well as a special consent approval from the NMBM, signed by mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.
MetroWind Director Donald McGillivray highlighted the fact that the project was 100% South African-owned, with a black economic-empowerment component of 35%.
The MetroWind Community Trust (MCT), established to deliver corporate social investment, also owned a portion of the project. Over and above the dividends, a further 1.5% of yearly revenue would be channeled to MCT from commencement of operations.