Energy minister to open wind farm at Oyster Bay

Minister of Energy Dipuo Peters will break ground at the R2-billion Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm project at Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape this Friday, 15 March.

The 32-turbine wind farm is on track to go operational in the final quarter of 2014 and will generate 80MW of clean and renewable power.

 The Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm,  named as one of the preferred bidders in the Government’s independent power producer procurement programme in December 2011, is expected to inject in excess of R250 million into community upliftment projects to be distributed through the Red Cap Kouga Community Development Trust.

 The ceremony, which is for invited guests and invited media only, will start with the sod turning , then there will be a lunch and a further address. Invited guests  at the ceremony will include MEC for Economic Development and Environmental Affairs, Mcebisi Jonas, Cacadu Executive Mayor Khunjuzwa Eunice Kekana and Kouga Mayor, Booi Koerat. 

 “The Kouga Wind Farm is the first step in developing a substantial proudly South African renewable energy portfolio,” says Mark Tanton of Red Cap Investments, a 100% South Africa-owned and managed renewable energy developer.

 The Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm project is funded by Cape Town-based investment management firm Inspired Evolution, Standard Bank and the Industrial Development Corporation.

Tanton said the outcome of the tender process indicated that Red Cap has the right business model to succeed when going up against a large majority of foreign backed players.

 Red Cap contracts in specific international expertise in the absence of local based expertise. But it has partnered exclusively with South African companies to develop and own the wind farm as it is committed to ensuring that significant skills transfer takes place.

 The current lack of local capacity will require Red Cap to import key technical supplies – the German turbine manufacturer Nordex is employed to provide the 2.5MW turbines.  Tanton expects the percentage of local content to increase significantly in future as renewable energy projects take off in South Africa and local industry has more certainty around volumes and timeframes.

 A defining feature of the Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm project is that it far exceeds the minimum threshold of 2.5% community participation set for each Renewable Energy Bid.  The Trust, which holds a 26% shareholding in the project company courtesy of an Industrial Development Corporation loan, will derive income off the sale of electricity. Tis will be used to uplift the local community by funding health, welfare, education, local infrastructural and enterprise development projects.

 “Red Cap aims to identify and develop great business opportunities within renewables locally and internationally. We will do this by setting the industry standard and ensuring sustainable social and economic benefits to the affected communities,” Tanton added.


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