Mainstream starts construction of two wind farms in South Africa

Pictured (L-R): Loeriesfontein Wind Farm Economic Development Manager (Erica van der Merwe), Khobab Wind Farm Project Manager (Kevin Foster), Ward Councillor of Hantam Municipality (Giselle Opperman), Honourable Mayor of Hantam Municipality (Albert Fritz) , Loeriesfontein Wind Farm Project Manager (Leo Quinn), Khobab Wind Farm Economic Development Manager (Nqobile Simelane).

Pictured (L-R): Loeriesfontein Wind Farm Economic Development Manager (Erica van der Merwe), Khobab Wind Farm Project Manager (Kevin Foster), Ward Councillor of Hantam Municipality (Giselle Opperman), Honourable Mayor of Hantam Municipality (Albert Fritz) , Loeriesfontein Wind Farm Project Manager (Leo Quinn), Khobab Wind Farm Economic Development Manager (Nqobile Simelane).

Global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power celebrated the start of construction of two wind farms in South Africa’s Northern Cape which have a combined generation capacity of 280 megawatts.  The Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms, which are situated alongside each other within the Hantam Municipality, represent a total investment value of approximately 7 billion South African Rand (~460 million euro) and are expected to be operational by December 2017.

“We are thrilled to be adding over a million megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy each year to the country’s national grid; avoiding an estimated twenty-two million tonnes of carbon emissions over the lifespan of these projects, when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants,” said Tom Thorogood, General Manager of Khobab and Loeriesfontein Wind Farms.

Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas said: “We are well on our way to becoming a net producer of renewable energy to the rest of the country by 2020. Renewable energy is expected to unlock existing potential and to position the province to attract both local and foreign investment and create much needed jobs.”

The wind turbines will be supplied by Siemens Wind Power, with the 99m turbine towers being manufactured at the new Gestamp wind turbine tower factory in Atlantis in the Western Cape. Civil and electrical works are to be completed by a consortium comprised of Murray and Roberts Construction and Consolidated Power Projects.

The Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms are part of the South African Government’s Round 3 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) and are being managed both in terms of construction and operations by Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa. In addition to these, Mainstream is currently constructing a third wind farm in the Northern Cape Province, namely Noupoort Wind Farm.

The construction is being led by Mainstream’s Leo Quinn and Kevin Foster who previously managed the construction of the Jeffreys Bay and Droogfontein projects.

Loeriesfontein and Khobab Wind Farms are owned by a consortium led by Lekela Power, which is a joint venture between Actis, the global pan-emerging market private equity firm, and Mainstream. Lekela Power is a pan-African renewable energy platform that aims to provide 1,000MW of wind and solar power by 2018.

Other members include Thebe Investment Corporation; The IDEAS Managed Fund; Futuregrowth Asset Management; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital; and the Khobab and Loeriesfontein Community Trusts. The Trusts were established with the objective of carrying out public benefit activities to assist the local community through economic development.

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