Mainstream Renewable to develop 250MW of wind projects in South Africa
The Dublin-based renewable energy company, Mainstream Renewable, has announced that it has secured funding to develop 250MW of wind capacity in South Africa.
The firm will be developing the 140MW Kangnas Wind Farm, which will be located in the Northern Cape, and the 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm in the Western Cape.
The cost of the two farms is expected to cost ZAR6.6bn (US$521mn), which companies such as Lekela and Old Mutual Assurance Company to provide equity.
Construction on the sites is anticipated to begin in June, with the wind farms to be operational by 2020.
“Our team here in South Africa is really excited to reach financial close and start constructing these projects, which will bring a $87mn community investment over 20 years once they start operating in 2020,” stated Hein Reyneke, General Manager for Africa at Mainstream.
“We look forward to the results of the expedited fourth round of the REIPPPP, as well as further rounds, which are vital to securing a sustainable long-term, least-cost energy plan for the country.”
“Mainstream has been investing and building a local team in South Africa for almost a decade and with a portfolio of more than 3,000MW of wind and solar projects under development here, we are delighted to be making a significant contribution to building South Africa’s low-cost and low-carbon power system whilst boosting rural communities.”
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
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).
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.