Italian company Enel, through its South African renewables arm Enel Green Power has started construction of 280MW wind farms in South Africa.

Located in the Karoo Hoogland District, Northern Cape province, the 140MW each Karusa and Soetwater wind facilities are expected to generate 585GWh of electricity per year and will offset nearly 611,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Enel will invest more than €400m to build both the wind farms. The Karusa and Soetwater wind farms will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, in line with the government’s independent power producer (IPP) programme.

The wind facilities are expected to come online by the end of 2021.

Enel Green Power CEO Antonio Cammisecra said: “With the start of construction of Karusa and Soetwater, we are now building five wind projects in South Africa, for a total installed capacity of around 700 MW, which is further evidence of our ability to supply emission-free energy to this country, supporting its transition towards renewables.

“This robust pipeline of projects under construction comes on top of the major portfolio of wind and solar assets that we have already commissioned thanks to the determination and commitment with which we have worked in South Africa since we first started our development activities in the country, back in 2011.”

Enel operates 520MW of wind and solar farms in South Africa

Enel Green Power claims to operate seven renewable plants in South Africa, with an installed capacity of 520MW. With the construction of Karusa and Soetwater, Enel is presently building 700MW of wind capacity in the country.

The other three 140MW Enel wind facilities in South Africa are the Nxuba and Oyster Bay in the Northern Cape and the Garob in the Eastern Cape.

Enel had bagged the five projects in Round 4 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

In October 2018, Danish wind turbine-manufacturer Vestas had secured an order to supply turbines from Enel Green Power, for its two wind projects in South Africa, totaling 294MW.