South Africa experienced an electricity-supply crisis for the first quarter of 2019. The country which is continent’s most industrialised economy suffered from some of the worst power cuts in several years.
Eskom which supplies power to more than 90 percent of the country experienced repeated faults at its coal-fired power stations, along with low water levels at hydroelectric plants and diesel shortages.
Due to low coal supplies, the state utility switched out the lights across the country in February. Homes and small businesses were the most affected by the outage as they do not have access to backup power sources such as diesel generators.
Following the frequent and prolonged power cuts, Central Bank earlier predicted that South Africa’s economic growth would shrink by at least 1.1 percent in 2019. It had also estimated that up to 125 000 job losses would occur if nationwide electricity blackouts persisted throughout the year.
In a move that will help cut the power outages, Enel Green Power , an Italian multinational energy company reveals that it has started constructing a USD 214 Mn Garob wind farm.
The project which will be located near Copperton is Enel’s third renewable project.
Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power, says, “The other projects are the Nxuba and Oyster Bay wind farms, of 140MW each, for a total capacity of 420MW under construction in South Africa.”
“In SA, EGP has built over 520MW of renewable projects, currently in operation, since 2011, of which around 200MW of wind and over 320MW of solar plants. Specifically, the company’s fully operational solar plants are the 10MW Upington, 82.5MW Adams, 82.5MW Pulida, 66MW Tom Burke and 82.5MW Paleisheuwel, ” he said.
Cammisecra revealed that the group’s operational South African wind firms are the 88MW Nojoli and the 111MW Gibson Bay.
South Africa’s department of energy is currently leveraging on renewable energy to meet the country’s emissions target. So far, the department has signed 27 renewable energy projects with independent power producers. These deals are reportedly valued at about USD 4 Mn.
Featured Image Courtesy: The South African