Third wind project of Bid Window 5 reaches financial close

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The capital cost of the wind farm is approximately R3.5 billion, according to EDF Renewables.
The capital cost of the wind farm is approximately R3.5 billion, according to EDF Renewables.
Lameez Omarjee
  • The third wind project under Bid Window 5 of government's renewable energy procurement programme has reached financial close.
  • Coleskop Wind Power is expected to reach commercial operation by 2025.
  • The wind farm is one of three winning bids from EDF Renewables, and they will power 193 000 households.
  • For climate change news and analysis, go to News24 Climate Future.

A third project from Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) reached financial close this week.

Coleskop Wind Power is one of three projects developed by EDF Renewables that were named preferred bidders of government's fifth round of the renewable energy procurement programme in October 2021.

EDF's other two wind projects - Phezukomoya and San Kraal, both in the Northern Cape - reached financial close in November 2022. The transaction for these projects is valued at R7.7 billion, and Absa acted as the lead arranger.

The capital cost of Coleskop wind farm is approximately R3.5 billion. The lenders are Standard Bank, Absa, Investec and Momentum Metropolitan.

The Coleskop Wind Farm is located in the Umsombomvu Local Municipality, on the boundary of the Eastern Cape and the Northern Cape. It is expected to reach commercial operation by the beginning of 2025, EDF said in a statement.

Tristan de Drouas, CEO of EDF Renewables in South Africa, said the construction phase of the wind farms was under way.

The wind farms have a capacity of 140MW each – or a total of 420MW.

"Each project will comprise 26 wind turbines, with a hub height of 124m and a blade length of 83m," EDF Renewables said. The projects would provide enough electricity for 193 000 South African households.

The projects will sell power to Eskom over a 20-year contract.

READ | First two wind projects of Bid Window 5 reach financial close

EDF Renewables is also constructing a substation on behalf of Eskom – ownership will be transferred to the power utility after it is completed.

According to EDF Renewables, more than 590 full-time jobs would be created for South Africans over the two-year construction period. There are to be 50 full-time jobs during the 20-year operating period.

"Approximately 40% of the project value will comprise local content, and during operations, 1.2% of revenue generated by the projects will be applied to socioeconomic development initiatives for nearby local communities," EDF Renewables said.

EDF's BEE partners for the projects are H1 Holdings, GIBB-Crede and a local community trust.

So far, 13 projects under Bid Window 5 have concluded agreements with government and have to reach financial close.

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