German energy company, Juwi Renewable Energies announced today that the 84 MW Wolf Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape had reached financial close. Juwi claims that work has begun on the facility and that it will start producing electricity for the South African grid by the first quarter of 2024.
The 138 MW Garob Wind Project, which was chosen in the previous REI4P bid round and went into commercial operation in 2021, was the first wind project created by Juwi to complete financial close under the REI4P.
The company claims in a statement that the country’s energy crisis and the rising public and private demand for large-scale renewables have caused the clean energy company’s footprint to quickly grow. With over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar, and 500 MW of hybrid projects, the firm aims to incorporate storage in the development of projects for private and public energy users.
Red Rocket won the bid for the Wolf Wind Project in round five of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Plan, which is situated two hours from the city of Gqeberha (REI4P).
Richard Doyle, MD of Juwi South Africa, stated that Juwi was committed to producing projects that help SA address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, thus the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging.
“Concurrently, it is heartening to see the exponential growth in demand from the public and private sectors for large-scale renewable projects, and for hybrid projects that integrate battery storage. To support this demand, we plan to initiate the development of a further combined 1GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023.”
The new project from Juwi strengthens South Africa’s push towards renewable energy adoption to drive sustainable development. Several independent and government-owned firms have been taking steps to curb the current energy and power crisis in the country owing to the inability of Eskom to provide power. Last year, the state-owned company stated that it is concentrating on putting all of its projects into action in order to produce the necessary 53 GW of fresh extra energy for the years up to 2032, which would guarantee energy security.
The CEO of Red Rocket, Matteo Brambilla, claims that as a South African business and an independent power producer, the firm has been investing in solutions to alleviate the energy crisis for over 10 years.
“We’re proud to have partnered with Juwi on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects. “The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year, offsetting 374 400 tonnes of CO2 each year and the project will bring over R200 million in community investment over 20 years through local social projects.”
“A key barrier to bringing large projects like Wolf online is grid capacity,” says Chris Bellingham, head of project development at Juwi South Africa.
“Whilst we’re working on ways to overcome the challenges imposed on many of our projects by the Cape grid constraints, to meet the significant and growing demand for clean reliable power, we’re also actively developing a large portfolio of new and regionally diverse projects in unconstrained areas of the country’s grid.