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Renewables: Iberdrola Ingenieria close to 200MW built in SA

Engineering and construction company Iberdrola Ingenieria has announced it is close to completing the Jasper photovoltaic power plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape, bringing the total capacity built by the Spanish firm to 200MW, enough to supply electricity to 150,000 South African homes.

The subsidiary of electric utility Iberdrola and South African construction company Group Five have been working on the 96MW PV project (claimed to be the largest in Africa) after being selected by project company Jasper Power Company and signing a contract valued at €121 million under the second bidding round of the REIPPP programme.

Semi-desert location

The Jasper PV plant is being built in a desert area with extreme temperatures and involved the installation of over 325,000 modules covering a surface area equivalent to 205 football pitches.

Other investors in the project include Google, which put in US$12 million as part of its renewable energy investments.

Wind farm construction

The news follows the completion of two wind farm projects won during the first bidding round of REIPPP.

The two wind power projects located in the Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces were built on a turnkey basis.

The Noblesfontein facility has a capacity of 74MW. It was awarded in a contract worth €112 million by a consortium formed by Spanish firm Gestamp Wind and two South African partners: Shanduka and Sarge.

The facility consists of 41 wind turbines with a unit capacity of 1.8MW using Vestas V100 model, as well as a substation and the power line needed to upload the energy to the grid.

One of the main peculiarities of this project was the huge distance between the wind farm site and the nearest industrial and urban areas, which meant that the company had to produce part of the materials (for example, the concrete or gravel) at the site itself.

The Klipheuwel wind farm awarded by South African firm Biotherm Energy and valued at €40 million has a capacity of 27MW and is located close to the town of Caledon.

Developed by Iberdrola Ingenieria and Group Five, it also features the participation of Chinese manufacturer Sinovel, which supplied the nine wind turbines for the park.

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