Renewable energy
South Africa's power struggles have opened up a window of opportunity for renewable solutions.
Renewable energy
South Africa’s power struggles have opened up a window of opportunity for renewable solutions.

Italian independent renewable power producer Building Energy has been awarded preferred bidder status in round four of the South African Department of Energy’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) for a wind and a mini-hydro project.

The company will finalize development and implement a 140MW wind project in Roggeveld, an area between the Northern and Western Cape Provinces, which will generate 590GWh per year.

In addition, the Italian Group will build a 4.7MW small-hydro project in Kruisvallei, in the Free State Province, which will produce 36GWh per year once fully operational.

Additional REIPPPP power projects

Building Energy was awarded a contract for the development of a solar farm in Kathu in the Northern Cape province and a biomass facility in Mkuze, a small town in South Africa’s Northern KwaZulu-Natal, respectively in the first and third round of the REIPPP programme.

Kathu is a 81MW photovoltaic project, one of the largest solar parks on the continent, and Mkuze is a 16.5MW biomass plant, the first and largest biomass facility in Africa.

The newly-awarded projects make Building Energy the first renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) to deliver projects across four different generation technologies: photovoltaic, biomass, wind and hydro.

Building Energy operates in several countries all over the world but has a particularly strong presence in Africa.

Expanding its product offering

After opening its office in Cape Town, the company has been managing and coordinating the development and realisation of more than 30 projects in South Africa and in other countries within sub-Saharan Africa including Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique, Cameroon and Lesotho.

Exploiting the expertise and knowledge of the South African market acquired through these major projects, Building Energy aims to take on more opportunities in South Africa and its neighbouring countries.

The company has recently announced the construction of the first photovoltaic plant in Uganda, a 10MW solar farm in Tororo.

Matteo Brambilla, managing director for Africa, at Building Energy said: “Winning this bid is particularly important to Building Energy because it makes us the first IPP to deliver projects across four different technologies, showing our expertise and ability to deliver great results but also rewarding our efforts and commitment in this country, which can offer a lot to the renewable energies market.”