With South Africa struggling with load shedding due to inadequate power generation capacity as demand continues to rise, the state utility, Eskom, and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy have turned to the country’s high potential wind resources to establish energy security while drive the transition to a clean energy future.
Under the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPP) – which has recently launched its sixth Bid Window targeting 5,200 MW of renewable capacity, a number of large-scale wind projects have taken off with many more expected to follow.
Roggeveld Wind Farm: 147 MW
Representing the biggest wind farm in South Africa by installed capacity, the Roggeveld Wind Farm is a 147 MW facility located in the Western Cape province. In April 2018, Roggeveld signed its power purchase agreement (PPA) and shortly thereafter reached financial close. Developed by G7 and then taken over by Building Energy, the facility represents the country’s most efficient wind farm with the lowest electricity tariff in South Africa. The facility started operating in March 2022, providing critical electricity to the national grid.
Longyuan Mulilo De Aar 2 North Wind: 144 MW
Developed by China Longyuan Power Group Corporation through its subsidiary Longyuan SA, the Longyuan Mulilo De Aar2 North Wind project is a R5 billion initiative located in the Northern Cape province. The farm boasts a total capacity of 144 MW and was constructed under REIPPP’s Bid Window Three. Comprising 96 turbines and completed in 2013, the project represents the biggest in South Africa in terms of installed capacity.
Loeriesfontein 2: 140 MW
Located in the Northern Cape province, Loeriesfontein 2 is owned by Lekela Power and operated by Mainstream Asset Management. Commercial operation began in 2017, with the farm comprising 61 turbines – manufactured by Siemens – with a total generation capacity of 140 MW. Powering 120,000 households with clean electricity, the wind farm represents the second biggest in the country by installed capacity.
Oyster Bay: 140 MW
Located in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, the Oyster Bay wind farm is an operational wind facility developed by Enel Green Power South Africa. Capable of producing 568 GWh of electricity a year with an installed capacity of 140 MW, the facility offsets approximately 590,000 tons of Co2 emissions. Construction began in May 2019 with the plant becoming operational in July 2021.
Khobab: 140 MW
Also owned by Lekela Power and developed and operated by Mainstream Asset Management, the 140 MW Khobab wind facility is located in the Northern Cape province, comprising some 61 Siemens turbines. Considered Loeriesfontein 2’s sister facility, construction of the project was completed in December 2017 whilst connection with the main grid was conducted 2018. The power station generates 563,500 MWh of clean energy per year used to power some 170,000 households.
Cookhouse wind farm 139 MW
Owned by Old Mutual and operated by ACED/Suzion, the R2.4 billion, 139 MW Cookhouse wind farm is located in the Northern Cape province. With 66 turbines holding a capacity of 2.1 MW each, the wind farm generates 340,000 MWh of clean electricity per year. The farm was commissioned in 2014 and is connected to the national grid.
Jeffreys Bay: 138 MW
Brought online in 2014, the R2 billion, 138 MW Jeffreys Bay facility is located between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape province. Developed under the REIPPP, the farm is owned by Globeleq and generates 460,000 MWh per year, enough to power 100,000 households as part of a 20-year PPA signed with Eskom. The plant avoids the emissions of 420,000 tons of carbon per year, utilizing its sixty Siemens 2.3 MW turbines to generate power.