South Africa’s Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms begin operation

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South Africa's Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms begins operation

South Africa’s Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms have started their 20-year commercial operations, the firm spearheading the projects Lekela Power has announced.

Lekela Power said that the 280MW wind farms will help power 240,000 households in South African.

Located in Northern Cape province, the plants are part of the South African governmen’s Round 3 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). They feature a total of 122 turbines and were connected to the Eskom grid at the end of September.

Lekela Power, a joint venture between private equity firm Actis and a consortium led by Ireland-based wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power, said that commercial operations began on schedule and on budget.

Read:South Africa unveils mega wind power project

Other shareholders in the wind farms include Thebe Investment Corp, The Ideas Managed Fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital, Khobab Community Trusts and Loeriesfontein Community Trusts.

Lekela chief executive Chis Antonopoulos said that the projects in South Africa have given them impetus as it seeks to deliver sustainable, reliable and competitively priced energy across Africa.

Construction of the wind farms begun in 2015 in Hantam municipality in the Northern Cape. The area was especially chosen because  it was windy, had favorable construction conditions and there would be a direct electricity connection from Helios owned by Eskom.

Mid last month a15-member delegation of engineers and energy experts from Ghana visited Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms to learn best practice on connecting renewable sources of energy like wind power to a country’s national grid.