Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm, South Africa

The 134.4MW Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm is a greenfield renewable project being constructed near Bedford in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The project is being developed under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) of South Africa.

Construction of the Phase I of the project began in August 2014 and commercial operation is scheduled to start in mid-2016. The wind farm is expected to offset approximately 445,152t of CO² a year from the atmosphere.

Ownership of Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm

A joint venture (JV) of Exxaro Resources and Tata Power, Cennergi is the owner and developer of the wind farm. The JV purchased the rights to the project from Windlab in 2011 and owns 95% of the project, while the remaining 5% is shared equally by the Cookhouse Community Trust and the Bedford Community Trust.

Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm details

The wind farm is located south of the towns of Cookhouse and Bedford in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, and is one of the 19 renewable-energy and seven wind projects selected under the second round of the REIPPP.

It is a part of the greater Amakhala Emoyeni project concept, which received approval from the South African Civil Aviation Authority and the South African Heritage Resources Agency. The bigger project will be spread over 27,000ha with good infrastructural facilities such as roads and electricity grid.

The Amakhala Emoyeni project will extend over 13,000ha of grazing land and incorporate portions of leased agricultural farms. It is expected to have a foot print of not more than 75ha.

The wind farm will consist of 56 Nordex N117/2,400 turbines with a capacity of 2.4MW each. The turbines will have a rotor diameter of 117m and a swept area of 10,715m². Each turbine tower will be made of modular tubular steel and have a height of 91m.

Each turbine will feature a three-bladed rotor made up of high-quality glass fibre-reinforced polyester, and a two-stage planetary model gearbox fitted with a cooling circuit with variable cooling output.

Off-take of electricity from the Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm

The electricity generated at the wind farm will be supplied to South Africa’s national utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The project is anticipated to supply approximately 450,559MWh of electricity a year to Eskom’s electricity network.

Construction of the wind farm near Bedford

Initial works include the construction of 35km of internal roads for the installation of the wind farm and future operations. The first 2.4MW wind turbine is expected to be erected by June 2015.

An onsite substation will be built at Kopleegte, which will be connected by a 132kV power transmission line to Eskom’s Poseidon substation. It is also proposed to re-align Eskom’s Poseidon-Zebra and the Klipfontein-Poseidon transmission lines to transmit the power generated by the wind farm to the national grid.

Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm financing

Financial closure for the first phase of the wind farm in Bedford was achieved in May 2013. The project is estimated to cost approximately R3,945m (approximately $336m), which will be funded through a debt-equity mix of 80:20. Cennergi is the sole provider of the entire equity for the project.

The wind farm is financed by Standard Bank and the International Finance Corporation (up to $72m). Standard Bank is the mandated lead arranger of the debt component.

Contractors involved with the wind farm development

German wind turbine manufacturing company Nordex was awarded the contract for the delivery and turnkey installation of theturbines at the wind farm. The contractual scope also includes a service agreement for an initial period of ten years.

Savannah Environmental was engaged to conduct the Scoping and Environmental Impact Assessment for the wind farm.

Shearman & Sterling provided advisory services to Cennergi regarding the development of the wind farm. Qunu Consulting designed the turbine foundations and roads for the wind farm.