The delivery of these turbines, which feature 44-m-long blades, was the first under the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
Construction on the Eastern Cape-based Cookhouse wind farm, developed under the first round of the REIPPPP, started in February and would, when completed, be the largest in Africa, consisting of 66 Suzlon 2.1 MW turbines with a combined installed capacity of 138.6 MW.
This would provide enough energy to power about 145 000 low income homes, with power expected to be supplied to the national power grid by the second quarter of 2014.
The wind farm was developed by African Clean Energy Developments and was owned by a consortium of African infrastructure investors, comprising Apollo; the African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2; the Infrastructure, Developmental and Environmental Assets Managed Fund; Afpoc; and the Cookhouse Wind Farm Community Trust.
The project was financed by Standard Bank of South Africa, Nedbank and Futuregrowth Asset Management, and employed Suzlon Wind Energy South Africa – a subsidiary of the Suzlon Group and the fifth largest turbine supplier in the world –as primary contractor.
Cookhouse wind farm CEO Dr Jannie Retief said the organisation considered the delivery a major milestone for the project, as well as for the broader DoE REIPPPP.
“We understand this to be the first shipment of turbines of any of the Round 1 REIPPPP projects and it is hugely rewarding to finally see the turbines arriving on South African soil,” he commented.