Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) has reached financial close for five new wind farms in South Africa.

Nedbank and Absa have agreed to finance up to €950m (80%) of the overall investment of around €1.2bn required for developing the wind farms, which can collectively generate nearly 700MW of power.

The five wind farms; Nxuba, Oyster Bay, Garob, Karusa and Soetwater, each have a power generation capacity of around 140MW. Every project will be partly owned by a local partner.

"The five projects will produce around 2.6TWh of clean energy per year and also reduce carbon emissions by 2.7 million tonnes per annum."

EGP RSA intends to build Garob, Karusa and Soetwater wind projects in the Northern Cape province, while the Oyster Bay and Nxuba wind farms will be built in the Eastern Cape province.

The five wind farms were all awarded in the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) round 4.

EGP RSA’s parent company Enel Group will be providing around €230m in equity for the construction of the farms.

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With the completion of the financial close, the EGP RSA is planning to begin construction works at the Nxuba site by the end of this year.

Enel Green Power head Antonio Cammisecra said: “We have reached an important milestone in South Africa by achieving financial close on five major wind projects which confirm our 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.”

Construction of Oyster Bay and Garob wind project is expected to begin by the first half of next year, while construction of Soetwater and Karusa is expected to start in the second half of the same year.

By 2021, all five new wind farms are expected to become operational, thereby increasing EGP’s total installed capacity in the country to more than 1.2GW.

Once operational, the five projects will produce around 2.6TWh of clean energy per year and also reduce carbon emissions by 2.7 million tonnes per annum.