Work has officially started at Cennergi’s R3.5-billion Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm, located near Bedford, in the Eastern Cape.

The 138 MW project was among the 19 renewable-energy and seven wind projects selected following the second bid window under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). It reached financial close in May last year.

Cennergi, which is a joint venture between Exxaro and Tata Power, purchased the rights to the project from Windlab in 2011. The company owns 95% of the project, with the Cookhouse Community Trust owning 2.5% and the Bedford Community Trust the remaining 2.5%. Standard Bank has arranged the debt component.

Amakhala Emoyeni is spread across five sheep and cattle farms, which will continue with commercial operations during construction and once all 56 turbines have been installed.

For more on this story, visit Engineering News.

For another story, with photos and a brief video of the sod-turning, visit the Energy Blog.