Last year, Eskom announced it faced a deficit in 2010 of more than ZAR48 billion (EUR4.3 billion) in its five-year investment plan because of the higher cost of debt and a widening gap between generation costs and the electricity wholesale price. As a result it postponed a number of projects, including Koekenaap.
Now the World Bank has come to the rescue with a $260 million loan from the IBRD to help build a pilot utility-scale wind power facility at Sere and a 100MW concentrated solar power plant.
The rest of the funding will be provided by other development financial institutions, Eskom says. The utility will launch a tender call for the main works in September, and expects the plant to be fully operational by summer 2013.
If so, it will be in time to contribute to the national target of 10GWh of green electricity generation by that date.
According to the energy regulator, that will require over 1GW of installed wind power. South Africa has just 10MW of wind power turning today.