Enel signs deal to build €1.2 billion wind farms in South Africa
Enel has reached financial close on a fleet of new South African wind farms.
The Italian energy company has sealed the deal with Absa and Nedbank for 950 million euros of project financing to build five new clean energy projects around the country.
Once complete the wind farms will provide South Africa with 700 megawatts of renewable energy capacity, enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes.
Enel is putting up 230 million euros of its own money to build the power plants, which recently secured long-term contracts from the government in a competitive auction.
The scheme for bringing forward new renewable energy capacity, called REIPPPP, is part of a government push to install 7,000 megawatts of clean power by 2020.
The first of the new projects, called Nxuba, is expected to go into construction later this year in the Eastern Cape region. Three of the wind farms will be constructed in the Northern Cape; South Africa’s largest region is a popular destination for renewable projects due to its dry and largely flat landscape. All five wind farms are planned to be operational by 2021, helping to reduce an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.
Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel’s global renewable energy department, said the decision was an important milestone which confirmed the company’s “continuing commitment to the country’s renewables sector, within a context of sustainable development.”
“Enel Green Power will be supporting these processes by generating its emission-free energy in partnership with local shareholders and in cooperation with the local communities, according to our long-term vision of shared value creation,” he added.
At the moment, Enel operates 520 megawatts of wind and solar projects across South Africa. The new wind farms will help to more than double this capacity, underlining the company’s view of the country as an attractive destination to do business.
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