Acciona secures 138 MW wind energy in South African tenders

Wind energy in South Africa: Acciona and Aveng will build a 135 MW wind farm. Acciona and Aveng will build, own and operate a 135 MW wind power plant with 46 wind turbines and a 74 MW photovoltaic solar power plant (94 MWp).

Both projects have been selected by the Department of Energy of South Africa in the second round of an international tender for the promotion of renewable energy in the country.

ACCIONA Energy will take a 51% stake in the projects, Aveng 29%, and two social promotion entities from South Africa will contribute the remaining 20%.

ACCIONA Energy -a world leader in renewable energy – and Aveng -the biggest infrastructure group in Africa- will build, own and operate two renewable energy facilities in South Africa totaling 209 MW, following an international tender for renewable energy projects.

The Department of Energy of South Africa selected two projects presented by ACCIONA and Aveng in the second round of the Independent Power Producers Renewable Bid (IPP REBID). The installations are a 135.2 MW wind park (138 MW nominal capacity) and a 74 MW photovoltaic solar plant (94 MWp), which will be built between 2013 and 2014.

The two facilities will be ACCIONA’s first investments in South Africa, a country that has pledged to diversify its energy mix with renewable sources while seeking to fulfill the country’s growing demand for power.

South Africa plans to award 3,725 MW in clean energy projects by the end of 2013, as part of a longer-term strategy to incorporate 17,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity by 2030.

The Gouda wind farm will be built in the municipality of Drakenstein, Western Cape Province (in the west of the country). It will be equipped with forty-six 3 MW ACCIONA Windpower wind turbines, totaling 138 MW of installed capacity. Construction work will start in 2013 for completion in 2014.

The photovoltaic plant, called Sishen, will be located in the municipality of Dibeng, in Northern Cape Province (in the south-west of the country). Building work will start in 2013 and will be completed in mid-2014.

ACCIONA Energy, a world leader in renewables with 8,211 MW of installed capacity in seven clean technologies and a presence in 13 countries, will hold a 51% stake in the projects.

Aveng (Africa) Limited will have a 29% stake in the projects. The company is a subsidiary of the biggest construction group in South Africa with activities in infrastructure, energy and mining. Aveng is also the largest construction group in Africa by market capitalization.

Soul City Broad-Based Empowerment Company (SCBBEC), a subsidiary of the Soul City Institute, will hold a 10% stake in the project. The non-profit group is dedicated to the promotion of health and social change. The remaining 10% of each project will correspond to a Local Community Trust, which promote community development.

ACCIONA Energy and Aveng will build the installations through EPC contracts on a 50-50 basis, and will also undertake their operation and maintenance.

ACCIONA Energy expressed its satisfaction for the award of the two projects. "The awards indicate the technical and economic solvency of our proposals. South Africa is a great country with many initiatives in the field of renewable energy, and we want to play an active role in the development of the country’s clean energy potential with our experience and technological know-how. We have the best partners to achieve this, and we are convinced that the projects awarded today will be the start of an ongoing effort of cooperation to achieve our objectives," the company said.
Energy challenges for South Africa

South Africa is addressing a number of challenges in its energy sector, including the need to meet growing demand and avoid power cuts, as well as diversifying its energy mix away from coal, which accounts for 75% of installed capacity. As a result, private investors have been invited to take part in the transformation process.

The South African Government has decided that renewable energy sector should have a key role in its medium to long-term energy planning program. The government’s Integrated Resource Program (IRP) 2010, a 20-year national energy plan, foresees a big increase in the country’s energy capacity and a gradual introduction of renewable energy sources until they account for 30% of electricity generated in South Africa by 2030. The tenders under the IPP REBID, which have today achieved a new milestone, are part of this strategy.

By José Santamarta,