Mainstream wind SA

The Department of Energy of South Africa has selected a consortium led by Ireland-based Mainstream Renewable Power as the preferred bidder for two wind energy projects with power generation capacity of 250MW.

The Irish green energy firm has won the status under the fourth round of the Renewable Energy Procurement Programme in South Africa.

Estimated investment for the wind projects will be $469m.

The first of the two projects is the Kangnas Wind Farm to be built in the Nama Khoi Municipality in the Northern Cape, which has a generation capacity of 140MW.

"Estimated investment for the wind projects will be $469m."

The second project is for the 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm, which will be located in the Cape Winelands District and Witzenberg Local Municipalities of the Western Cape.

Solar projects totalling 848MW have been won by the firm under the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme.

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First award for renewable developments in South Africa was won by the firm in 2011, following which it also won three more wind projects as a part of the third round under the programme. The three projects, totalling 360MW, are presently being developed in Northern Cape region.

In 2014, Mainstream Renewable Power has commissioned three wind and solar facilities in the country, which were a part of the first programme round.

Mainstream Onshore Procurement, Construction and Operations managing director Barry Lynch said: "Renewable energy ticks three important boxes for South Africa’s energy needs.

"Firstly, the cost of these projects is now cheaper than new coal-fired generation.

"Secondly, they can be brought into commercial operation at the speed required and thirdly, they meet the scale needed to address the country’s growing electricity demand."

Image: Mainstream had commissioned 138MW Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm in South Africa last year. Photo: courtesy of Mainstream Renewable Power.