Enel Green Power invests big in SA power-generating solutions

Enel already operates more than 520MW of wind and solar plants in the country.

The company supplying advisors to Eskom, at its board of directors’ request for help, recently financed a more than R15 billion stake in renewable energy in South Africa, over and above its already considerable investment in renewable energy in this country.

According to it’s website, Enel Green Power RSA had signed finance agreements in August with Nedbank Limited and Absa for “up to €950 million, namely up to 80% of the overall investment of about €1.2 billion on a portfolio of five new wind projects, totalling roughly 700MW of capacity”.

“The five facilities – Nxuba, Oyster Bay, Garob, Karusa and Soetwater – have a capacity of about 140MW each.

“The Enel Group is contributing about €230 million in equity in the construction of the five wind farms,” its webpage stated.

Enel announced yesterday it had begun construction of Nxuba, a €200-million (about R3.2 billion) 140MW wind farm in the Amatole District in the Eastern Cape. The project is expected to be finished by September next year.

Enel already operates more than 520MW of wind and solar plants, namely the 88MW Nojoli wind farm and the 111MW Gibson Bay wind farm in the Eastern Cape, as well as the photovoltaic plants Paleisheuwel (82.5MW, Western Cape); Tom Burke (66MW, Limpopo); Upington (10MW) and Adams (82.5MW), both in the Northern Cape; and Pulida (82.5MW) in the Free State.

Questions were sent to Enel but the multinational company had failed to respond at the time of going to print.

In parliament yesterday, during his reply to the State of the Nation debate, President Cyril Ramaphosa said if ever there was a time when South Africans needed to work together, it was now.

Ramaphosa said there was no single solution to Eskom’s problems.

“Neither restructuring, nor refinancing, nor cost-cutting, nor tariff increases, nor better plant maintenance on their own will have the necessary effect,” Ramaphosa said. “We need to pursue all of these measures and more, simultaneously, in a coordinated manner, and with purpose, to turn the utility around.”

Ramaphosa noted next week’s announcement by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni during his budget speech represented “a significant commitment at a time when public finances are severely constrained”.

“It must therefore be accompanied by – and must be dependent on – a credible, far-reaching turnaround plan that has both an immediate and a lasting impact,” said Ramaphosa.

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