Suzlon to power Cookhouse wind farm

27 May 2011

India’s Suzlon Energy has signed a deal with African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) for the supply and construction of up to 200 wind turbines for the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility in the Eastern Cape, for an undisclosed sum.

The facility, which covers over 9 000 hectares and is located about 150km north-east of Port Elizabeth, is one of South Africa’s leading renewable energy projects, having received permission from the Department of Environmental Affairs in May 2010 for the erection of up to 200 wind turbines.

The initial deal is 76 of Suzlon’s S88 series 2 Megawatt turbines, with an option to acquire 124 Turbines.

“We at Suzlon are delighted to be supporting what is arguably the lead project in South Africa in terms of quality and development timelines,” Suzlon South Africa CEO Silas Zimu said in a statement this week. “The Cookhouse facility will not only provide clean and green energy, but also create many jobs and make a major contribution to local economic development.”

Power purchase agreement

The contract is conditional to the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility successfully securing a power purchase agreement under the South African REFIT (Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff) procurement process, due to commence in the coming months.

Based on current expectations, installation is expected to commence in late 2011 or early 2012.

African Clean Energy Developments is a joint venture between African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a company held by Old Mutual Investment Group and Macquarie Capital) and AFPOC Limited.

Significant BEE participation

ACED is working closely with its partner, the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, and with its appointed mandated lead arrangers, Standard Bank and Nedbank, to finalise a financing package which will include a significant portion of broad-based black economic empowerment (BEE) ownership.

“African Clean Energy Developments, along with its key stakeholders, are pleased to be working with Suzlon Energy Limited on our flagship South African project, the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility,” said ACED managing director Thomas Donnelly.

“Suzlon has demonstrated a clear commitment to the South African market, and to local economic development and job creation, two key objectives of the Cookhouse Wind Energy Facility.”

Emerging markets experience

Suzlon Group MD Tulsi Tanti said that as a rapidly growing economy, South Africa was a very important market for the company, and that they were excited to bring to the table their vast emerging markets experience gained from countries like India, China, Brazil and others.

“The country has immense wind energy resources and the government of the Republic of South Africa has demonstrated praiseworthy vision and leadership to exploit this abundant renewable resource to power the nation’s growth,” Tanti said.

SAinfo reporter

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