Wind Prospect had been investigating the African market for the last few years, explains Chanda Kapande, Business Manager, Africa, but the introduction in South Africa of a renewable energy feed-in tariff in 2009 provided the catalyst.
The company will open an office in Cape Town in October, from where it will serve the whole continent, providing wind resource assessment, due diligence and development support services to developers, banks and financial institutions.
It will also work with local graduates to help develop a skilled labour pool. The company is already working on a number of projects with international investors in Kenya and exploring possibilities elsewhere.
South Africa is being targeted as an emerging market by the wind industry. In June, Vestas announced it was opening an office in South Africa, despite the country having only 10MW of installed wind capacity to date.
Speaking about the move, Vestas president for central Europe Hans Jorn Rieks said: "Vestas sees Southern Africa - and South Africa in particular - as key emerging markets for us and as leaders in the development of wind energy in Africa."