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SOUTH AFRICA: EDF launches construction of the 140 MW Coleskop wind farm

CountrySouth Africa
TagsEnergy Access, Finance and Investment, Renewable Energy

As South Africa once again faces power outages, EDF Renewables, a subsidiary of the Electricité de France (EDF) group, has announced the financial and commercial closure of its Coleskop wind farm project. The facility, built on the border of the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces, will have a capacity of 140 MW.

The Coleskop Wind Project is now fully into the construction phase. This follows the recent financial close by the project’s developer, French company EDF Renewables and its local partners, H1 Holdings and Gibb-Crede. The consortium raised 3.5 billion South African rand (more than $202 million) from Anglo-South African bank Investec, South Africa’s Standard Bank, its compatriot Absa, and Momentum Metropolitan, a financial services group based in Tshwane, South Africa.

The Coleskop project is being developed under the 5th bidding window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP). The 140 MW wind farm is being built near Middelburg, in the local municipality of Umsombomvu, on the border of the Eastern and Northern Cape provinces. The project is one of three concessions obtained by EDF Renewables and its partners under the 5th REIPPPP window.

Commissioning in 2025

“This is a great satisfaction for the project team and the consortium, after the long bidding process, and in a context of urgency to provide more electricity to the national grid,” says Tristan de Drouas, EDF Renewables’ managing director in South Africa. The Coleskop wind farm is expected to be operational in early 2025.

EDF’s other two wind farms, namely Phezukomoya and San Kraal, reached financial close on 10 November 2022. All three wind farms are covered by 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the South African state-owned utility Eskom. At the same time, EDF Renewables is participating in the implementation of the RMI4P (Risk Mitigation Procurement Programme).

As part of this South African government initiative, EDF is developing the Umoyilanga project, which involves the construction of a power plant combining solar, wind and battery storage technologies to provide 75 MW of dispatchable energy to the national grid. It includes a 77 MW wind farm on the coast in southern South Africa and a 138 MWp solar plant in the Northern Cape.