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South Africa: PPA for Sub-Saharan Africa’s first IPP wind farm

Almost three years after the 2nd World Wind Energy Conference was held in Cape Town, the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Helen Zille, and the CEO of Darling Wind Farm, Hermann Oelsner, signed recently a 20-year contract for the supply of green electricity from the Darling Wind Farm. The Power Purchase Agreement was the last remaining milestone required for financial closure of the first Sub-Saharan African IPP wind farm project.
The wind farm will comprise in the first initial phase of four 1,3 MW wind turbines. The project finance partners are the Danish Development Agency Danida, the Central Energy Fund, and the Development Bank of South Africa. The Darling Wind Farm will be the first commercial wind farm in South Africa and in Southern Africa. The project is the first step to harvest the huge potential of wind energy, which is in abundance available for clean energy generation in Southern Africa.

The power purchase agreement is part of a major Draft Energy and Climate Change Strategy of the City of Cape Town according to which it will source 10 % of all its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2020. It comes at a time when the City of Cape Town is experiencing repeatedly electricity shortages and blackouts caused by technical and security problems in the only commercial nuclear reactor in Africa situated very close to Cape Town in Koeberg.

Ms Helen Zille, Mayor of Cape Town, Mr Hermann Oelsner, CEO of the Darling Wind Farm, and Cape Town City Manager, Mr Achmat Ebrahim.

Hermann Oelsner, CEO of the Darling Wind Farm: “The ratification of the Power Purchase Agreement is facilitating a unique and innovative partnership between local and foreign private investors, the National and the Local Government and the community of Darling which will be an equity shareholder in the project. This is the beginning of a totally new industry, in terms of Government’s new initiative for job creation, with a high potential of local content in research and development, equipment manufacture, creation of infrastructure and operation of plant. The Western Cape region may follow the success story of regions like in Denmark, in Northern Germany or in Spain where the wind industry already belongs to the biggest employers.”

WWEA Secretary General Stefan Gsänger: “We see this first IPP wind farm in Africa as a milestone for the achievement of a sustainable energy supply in South Africa and on the whole of the African continent. WWEA would like to encourage the City of Cape Town and the South African Government to extend this approach of decentralised investment in the renewable energy sector and to harvest the abundant wind potentials that could supply all electricity that South Africa needs. South Africa should now set up appropriate national legislation for an accelerated wind power deployment. Once again South Africa could thus underline its leadership function on the continent by encouraging the use of environmental friendly, inexhaustible energy sources and by creating favourable conditions for a new industry, resulting in thousands of new, sustainable and high-qualified jobs.”

Additional information:
News date: 28/08/2006

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