Excelsior wind farm connects to South Africa’s power grid.
Excelsior wind farm has been connected to South Africa’s power grid. Image supplied by BioTherm Energy.

The 33MW Excelsior wind farm, in the Western Cape province, is now connected to the country’s national power grid, having successfully completed the commissioning of its 13 wind turbine generators.

The developer BioTherm Energy noted that this is the first wind farm in the Western Cape, part of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REI4P), Bid Window 4, to reach this key milestone.

This Independent Power Producer (IPP), which commenced construction almost two years ago, is expected to achieve its commercial operations date next month. Once operational, it will begin generating over 132GWh of renewable power each year.

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The Excelsior wind farm is connected to the grid through an on-site substation and a dedicated 132kV power line connecting to the Vryheid substation, located close to the plant in Swellendam.

“We are pleased to mark this pivotal point in the construction of Excelsior Wind, with all thirteen wind turbines commissioned and connected to the power grid and are confident that we’ll be able to announce the commercial operations next month,” said Robert Skjodt, CEO of BioTherm Energy.

Transitioning to a green economy

The REI4P represents the governments’ most comprehensive and successful strategy to achieving a transition to a green economy, with IPPs located across the country, in alignment with the prevalence of renewable energy resources. 

Wind projects are predominantly located along the coastal regions, including nine procured in the Western Cape. 

The province has three wind farms presently under construction, which form part of the 27 Bid Window 4 IPPs that will collectively add 2,300MW to the country’s struggling national power grid, once they are all on line.

The portfolio of South African IPPs, developed by BioTherm Energy, also includes Aggeneys Solar, Konkoonsies II Solar and Golden Valley Wind. Additionally, the company’s portfolio reaches over the South African borders, to include the 100MW Kipeto Wind, in Kenya.