"The Republic of South Africa’s Minister for Energy, Dipuo Peters,today, announced her Department’s approval of the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility project to be carried out in Eastern Cape, by Suzlon Group, the world’s fifth largest* wind turbine supplier. This project will utilize Suzlon’s 2.1 MW wind turbines.
The Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility is one of South Africa’s leading renewable energy projects, having received a positive Record of Decision from the Department of Environment for the erection of up to 200 wind turbines; enough to power over 88,000 homes.
Suzlon announced its partnership with African Clean Energy Developments (ACED), African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a company held by Old Mutual Investment Group (South Africa) and Macquarie Capital) and AFPOC Limited, earlier this year.
Working closely with its partner, the industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, and with its appointed Mandated Lead Arrangers, Standard Bank and Nedbank Limited, ACED finalised a financing package which notably includes a significant portion of Broad Based BlackEconomic Empowerment ownership.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Thomas Donnelly, Managing Director – ACED, said: "This is an important milestone for the project, ACEDand for South Africa. The Cookhouse project marks a major first stepin our plans to build a 1 GW renewable energy portfolio over the next three years, with gur 200 turbine agreement with Suzlon at the coreof our plans.
"In addition to providing clean power – this project, and wind energy, have incredible potential for local job creation sustainable economic development."
Mr. Tulsi R. Tanti, founder, Chairman and Managing Director – Suzlon Group, said: "This is excellent news for South Africa and a concrete first step of the South African Renewables Initiative (SARI). We are extremely proud to be in the first wave of the Cookhouse project.
"South Africa needs more energy and it also needs thousands of decent and sustainable ‘green’ jobs. The wind energy sector is well positioned to deliver both of these requirements and more. We bring to the table our reliable technology and operating experience from 32 countries around the world, and are confident that South Africa will see significant growth in this space in the decades to come. I particularly want to recognize Minister Peters for her creative, bold and dynamic leadership in introducing the policy framework which has enabled today’s decision."
Mr. Silas Zimu, CEO – Suzlon South Africa, said; "When I joined Suzlon, my vision for its role in South Africa was to create jobs, and generate green electricity. As a Group we are committed to local empowerment, and to enable environmental, ecological and sustainable growth – and I believe that this project stays true to that vision. Cookhouse is a fantastic first project to turn that vision into a welcome reality.
By José Santamarta, www.suzlon.com