African Utility Giant Eskom Invests In Renewable Energy

African Utility Giant Eskom Invests In Renewable Energy

From Bizcommunity.

Eskom, South Africa’s giant public electricity utility, announced Tuesday it is entering the arena of wind farming in a project financed by African and international institutions.

Eskom generates approximately 95 percent of the electricity used in South Africa and 45 percent of the electricity used in Africa, according to its website, eskom.co.za. It also operates the only nuclear power plant in Africa.

“This is an exciting milestone in Eskom’s move towards a cleaner energy mix,” said Eskom Chief Executive Brian Dames in a prepared statement, according to a report in Bizcommunity.

The company plans to start construction of the $240 million project at its Sere wind farm in the Western Cape. The goal is to deliver power to the national grid in 2013 and be fully operational by the end of 2014.

The wind-farm, located near Koekenaap, will generate up to 100 megawatts of power and could reduce carbon emissions by 4.7 million tons over 20 years.

The project was funded by a group of development finance institutions including World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and Agence Francaise de Developpement, according to Bizcommunity.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to take advantage of attractive financing from international development finance institutions to construct the project at costs which compare favorably with the market,” Dames said in the report.

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The wind-farm will include 46 Siemens 2.3-108 wind turbine generators, a new substation and 132 kilo-volt distribution line.

The expected average energy production is enough to power about 97,000 homes each year, the report says.

Eskom generates, transmits and distributes electricity to industrial, mining, commercial, agricultural and residential customers and redistributors. Additional power stations and major power lines are being built to meet rising electricity demand in South Africa, the company says.

Read more at Bizcommunity.