Mott MacDonald has acted as lenders’ technical advisor on two wind farms that have reached financial close in South Africa. Developed by BioTherm, Golden Valley and Excelsior are part of the fourth round of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
The 120MW Golden Valley facility is located near the town of Bedford in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, with the 32MW Excelsior situated near the town of Swellendam in the Western Cape. Once operational, both projects will supply clean, renewable energy to the country’s power grid according to a take-or-pay power purchase agreement with national electrical utility Eskom. Excelsior wind farm is expected to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2019, with Golden Valley targeted to reach this milestone by the end of 2020.
Mott MacDonald has completed a technical due diligence of both projects, which included detailed reviews of wind turbine technology, construction contracts, programmes and financial models, energy yield assessments and environmental, social and permitting compliance according to international project finance standards. The consultancy also conducted an overall technical risk assessment of each project and presented key risks and recommendations to the lenders. Mott MacDonald will now monitor construction of both projects in an ongoing role.
Ulwin Hoffmann, Mott MacDonald’s project manager, said: “These projects will have positive impacts on the economies of the surrounding local communities, while complying with international environmental and social standards. Once operational, the projects will provide clean power to the South African grid for 20 years, equivalent to the consumption of over 100,000 medium-sized households annually.”
Mott MacDonald was appointed by the Government of South Africa as lead consultant for the design and delivery of the REIPPP programme, which has introduced several renewable energy projects across the country. The consultancy also acted as lenders’ technical advisor on the Xina Solar One and Kathu Solar Park schemes, which were part of the programme’s third round of projects and have already entered commercial operation.