southern Africa

Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has started construction in South Africa of its Karusa and Soetwater wind farms, with an installed capacity of 140MW each.

The plants, which are both located in the Karoo Hoogland District, Northern Cape province, are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Karusa and Soetwater will involve an investment of over 200 million euros each.

Antonio Cammisecra, CEO of Enel Green Power, said: "With the start of construction of Karusa and Soetwater, we are now building five wind projects in South Africa, for a total installed capacity of around 700 MW, which is further evidence of our ability to supply emission-free energy to this country, supporting its transition towards renewables.

"This robust pipeline of projects under construction comes on top of the major portfolio of wind and solar assets that we have already commissioned thanks to the determination and commitment with which we have worked in South Africa since we first started our development activities in the country, back in 2011.

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Karusa and Soetwater are the fourth and fifth wind projects Enel Green Power has started building in South Africa since the beginning of this year, in line with its investment programme in the country. The other projects, with an installed capacity of 140 MW each, are Nxuba and Oyster Bay in the Northern Cape, as well as Garob in the Eastern Cape.

All five projects were awarded to Enel in Round 4 of the South African government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

EGP RSA already has more than 520MW in wind and solar plants in operation in South Africa. Its solar plants are Upington (10 MW) and Adams (82.5 MW) in the Northern Cape, Pulida (82.5 MW) in the Free State, Tom Burke (66 MW) in Limpopo, and Paleishuewel (82.5 MW) in the Western Cape. Its wind farms include Nojoli (88 MW) and Gibson Bay (111 MW), both in the Eastern Cape. 

Once fully operational, Karusa and Soetwater are each expected to generate over 585 GWh annually, each avoiding the annual emission of around 611,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. The wind farms will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, in line with the Government's Independent Power Producer (IPP) programme. 

During the construction phase of Karusa and Soetwater, EGP RSA is expected to utilise state-of-the-art tools and practices such as advanced digital platforms and software solutions that will monitor and remotely support all site activities and plant commissioning, digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components.

These processes and tools are aimed at enabling swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams. Furthermore, EGP RSA is committed to employing local staff as well as hiring local contractors in the construction process, with the aim to promote meaningful socio-economic and enterprise development.