South Africa

South Africa

Long-delayed South African wind farms reach financial close

SOUTH AFRICA: Developer BioTherm Energy has reached financial close on two wind farms it secured in a tender in 2015.

Goldwind will supply 2.5MW turbines for the two sites
Goldwind will supply 2.5MW turbines for the two sites

The 120MW Golden Valley and 32MW Excelsior projects both have 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with state utility Eskom, which are backed by sovereign guarantees provided by the national treasury.

Golden Valley and Excelsior are located in Swellendam in the south-west of the country and the Eastern Cape in the south-east respectively.

Chinese manufacturer Goldwind will supply both projects under an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contract.

It had secured an order for Golden Valley in April 2015 and then for Excelsior in June of that year.

Golden Valley will consist of 48 of Goldwind’s GW121/2500 turbines, and is expected to be commissioned by the fourth quarter of 2020. Meanwhile, Excelsior will comprise 13 GW109/2500 model, and is expected to enter commercial operations in the last three months of 2019

BioTherm won contracts for the two projects in the fourth round of South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producers programme (REIPP), which was concluded in April 2015. It also won contracts for two solar PV projects – the 86MW Konkoonsies II and 45MW Aggeneys – in the same auction round.

However, Eskom delayed signing power deals for 2.3GW of renewable energy projects – including 1.4GW of wind farms – citing overcapacity resulting from the country’s economic downturn and slumping energy demand.

The utility signed the last of the 27 delayed agreements in April 2018.

BioTherm has now also reached financial close on Konkoonsies II and Aggeneys. Together, BioTherm’s two wind and two solar projects, cost around $500 million, the developer stated.

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