Jul 14, 2016

80MW wind farm comes online in South Africa’s Northern Cape

1 min
South Africa’s new 80MW Noupoort wind farm

South Africa’s new 80MW Noupoort wind farm achieved commercial operation earlier this week as part of the third round of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

All of the project’s 35 turbines have now been connected to the Eskom Grid after meeting each of the public utility’s requirements on 11 July.

“We are thrilled to have reached this milestone on target and to have met all Eskom’s requirements including Grid Code Compliance, thereby achieving COD just 17 months after construction commenced,” said Savva Antoniadis, Country Programme Manager for Noupoort Wind Farm.

The project, located in South Africa's Northern Cape region, is owned by a consortium led by Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power’s joint venture with emerging market investor Actis.

It is estimated that the Noupoort wind farm will eliminate the equivalent of around 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. When the plant is operating at full capacity it will supply electricity for up to 69,000 homes.

South Africa’s wind energy sector now produces more than 3GW of energy, enough to power more than half a million homes, from its 15 total wind farms.

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Photo courtesy of Noupoort Wind 

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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