South African 100MW wind farm on hold pending PPA

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa's most advanced large-scale commercial wind farm is on hold, waiting until an agreed framework is in place enabling independent power producers to sign power purchase agreements (PPA) with state utility Eskom.

The 100MW Hopefield wind power project, in Western Cape province, has reached "bankable feasibility stage," with a proven wind resource and sufficient wind data to secure funding, according to Cape Town-based developer, Umoya Energy.

Once the PPA is signed, the plant could be fully operational within twelve months, the company says.

The project is expected to cost around ZAR2 billion (EUR0.213 billion), to be funded 30% by equity and 70% project finance debt.

The equity will be provided by three local infrastructure funds: the African Infrastructure Investment Fund, Kagiso Infrastructure Empowerment Fund and Old Mutual's Infrastructural Developments Environmental Assets Fund.

According to Umoya Energy, terms have already been agreed with the preferred debt providers and the company has selected a preferred turbine supplier under an engineer, procure and construct contract.

Despite growing electricity supply shortages and an excellent wind resource, South Africa has just 10MW of installed wind capacity to date.

Part of this capacity will be dervied from a Vestas turbine installed at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium for the World Cup.


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