In Southern Africa, Innosun, a subsidiary of French wind company Innovent, has revealed plans to construct its first wind farm in Namibia.
The project engineer from Innosun, Alexandre Matton, told local media that the construction of the wind farm project is predicted to start in the second or third quarter of next year.
Innosun secures PPA
Matton said Innosun is the first company to secure a power purchase agreement (PPA) with state utility NamPower, adding that there is a potential involvement of Namibia’s Lüderitz Town Council in the project, reports The Economist.
He further revealed that the company has so far completed an environmental impact assessment and submitted a grid application license.
According to Matton, the company plans to secure funding from commercial banks as opposed to the Omburu solar project that was financed to a large extent by the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN).
Earlier in May, Innosun inaugurated its 4.5MW solar power plant, selling the generated power to NamPower under a PPA of 25 years.
Matton stated that the first project was to prove its feasibility, hence the company opted to obtain the funding from the DBN.
According to him, the company has established an agreement with NamPower, which guarantees that every invoice issued by Innosun will go towards paying the loan settlement.
He said the firm plans to pay 70% of its loan within eight years.
Wind farm energy meets local demand
Matton expressed confidence in the viability of renewable energy sources as well as their competitiveness.
“When compared to conventional energy sources like coal, renewables are very affordable, scalable and quick to implement. Wind is also the cheapest.
“We have established that for solar, you are most likely to pay N$1.37 ($0.098)per kWh and just N$1.08 ($0.0770)per kWh for wind. We are also hopeful that the wind farm will be connected to the grid in the same year as construction,” he said.
During a presentation, Innosun promoted the project saying that Namibia’s wind profile matches local energy demand.
“If you compare the same size for say 200MW for a coal power plant and compare against a wind farm with the same installed capacity, the cost per kWh at the end will be cheaper and more competitive from wind,” Matton said while referencing similar projects that have been successful in South Africa.
“Wind technology is mature. There have been improvements in wind turbine technology…We started developing wind energy in France in 2001 and we are a pioneer in that area.”
According to Matton, Innosun has installed 300MW of wind energy in France and 105MW across the southern Cape in South Africa.
He said that Innosun is confident that Namibia can be powered solely on renewable energy.
“The main reason why we think Namibia can be self-sufficient is because a full renewable energy mix applies here, and the wind at the coast, especially in southern Namibia is excellent.
“Namibia can be self-sufficient with the energy supply from those energy sources,” he concluded.