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Wind and solar projects in South Africa to be operational by mid-2014

Three renewable energy projects in South Africa – a wind farm and two solar projects – are set to deliver clean energy to the national grid by mid 2014.

British power company Globeleq Generation Limited celebrated the official start of construction of these three projects on which they successfully bid for as part of the Government of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme.

The procurement program is meant to aid the integration of 3,725 megawatts of renewable energy into the grid to allow South Africa meet its goal of reducing carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2022. Just this week, another company, Germany’s juwi Renewable Energy also started construction of a 7-MW solar park (see related story).

These latest projects are a 139-MW wind farm at Jeffreys Bay on the Eastern Cape and two 50-MW solar photovoltaic facilities on the Northern Cape. The projects are expected to provide clean power for more than 156,000 homes, displacing over 580,000 tons of carbon emissions each year.

The projects are owned by a consortium composed of Globeleq as majority shareholder along with Mainstream Renewable Power, Thebe Investment Corporation, engineering firms Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering and local community trusts. Old Mutual is an additional consortium member in the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

“These renewable energy projects add to Globeleq's extensive African power generation portfolio and illustrate our ability to mobilize capital for sustainable and productive power generation investments. Globeleq looks forward to working with our consortium partners, the contractors and community to successfully build the project on time, safely and within budget," said Paul Kunert, Head of Business Development for Africa.

The two solar projects will be built by Siemens under a lump-sum turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract. The Jeffreys Bay Wind farm will also be built by Siemens plus a South African consortium consisting of Murray & Roberts and Conco. Construction will be jointly managed across all three projects by Mainstream and Globeleq.

During construction, the projects will generate hundreds of jobs and, once operational, a portion of the project revenues will go to socio-economic and enterprise development programs for the local communities.

"The start of construction of these three projects reinforces the dedication and leadership of the South African government to climate change and the necessity for diversifying the energy supply for the country," said Mikael Karlsson , chief executive officer for Globeleq. "It is yet another significant step for Globeleq in building the leading African power company and clearly demonstrates our commitment to deliver clean and reliable energy to the people of South Africa."

Globeleq, which is solely owned by the pan-emerging markets private equity firm Actis, focuses on developing economically sustainable energy projects in the emerging markets in Africa and the U.S.. These three projects will be their first in South Africa and some of the largest in the country. – K.R. Jalbuena

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