Cennergi celebrates its first wind farm sod turning ceremony
Cennergi has started construction at its 134.4MW Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm between Bedford and Cookhouse in Eastern Cape
|Thomas Garner, CEO, Cennergi with Sunil Kapur, President, Tata Power Africa|
Cennergi - the cleaner energy company started by Exxaro and Tata Power have officially started the construction at its 134.4MW Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm project between Bedford and Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape, where 56 N17 Nordex turbines will produce 134.4MW of wind energy for the national electricity grid in South Africa.
Cennergi, which is a JV between Exxaro and Tata Power, purchased the rights to the project from Windlab in 2011. The company owns 95% of the project, with the Cookhouse Community Trust owning 2.5% and the Bedford Community Trust the remaining 2.5%.
The take-off of this project has been achieved by collaboration between government and the private sector, which has included various sectors from all over the country.
Amakhala Emoyeni is spread across five sheep and cattle farms, which will continue with commercial operations during construction and once all 56 turbines have been installed.
The roll-out of South Africa Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Programme is testament to the fact given the political will and strategic planning, government and private sector can work together for the benefit of future generations. This project is set to ensure that for generations to come, South Africa will be set up for massive competitive advantages.
The biggest spin-offs of the project besides it offering reasonable, competitive and clean energy, is that the programme will have impact on its surrounding communities.
The skills development, job creation and engineering education and training that are taking place are derivatives of the programme that will escalate in the years to come.
Construction of 35 km of internal roads required to facilitate construction and future operations is the current focus.
The first 2.5 MW Amakhala Emoyeni wind turbine is expected to be erected by June 2015 and the entire project should enter commercial operations by mid-2016.
The company should have 2 000 MW of renewables and conventional power-generation capacity in place by 2020, with the bulk of that in South Africa and the balance in Mozambique, Botswana, Ghana and Kenya.