South Africa

Vestas, Suzlon and Acciona: winners in South Africa

The South African government has announced the preferred candidates for its second wind, solar and hydropower tender. Wind power fared the best, with seven projects totalling 562 MW being selected. The Danish manufacturer Vestas has announced that it has been allocated more than half of this capacity, specifically about 297 MW, while Acciona Energy has received 135.2 MW (plus 74 MW of photovoltaic capacity) and Suzlon (India), 138 MW.
Vestas, Suzlon and Acciona: winners in South Africa

The total capacity awarded to the three wind power companies is some 10 MW above the 562 allocated, because the power rating of wind turbines used will be slighting limited. This second round of tendering by the South Africa Department of Energy – subsequent to the 1.42 GW awarded in December 2011 – received proposals totalling more than 3.2 GW, way above the 1.23 GW earmarked for allocation.

However, the quality of many projects did not live up to the demands of the call, since, between wind and solar PV, 1,040 MW have been awarded, 190 MW below the total available for allocation (of the 650 MW of wind capacity included in the second round of tendering, 562 MW have been awarded; while 417 MW (nine projects) of the 450 MW for solar PV has been allocated). The solar thermal electric sector was allocated 50 MW and small hydro, 15 MW.


In addition to the 135.2 MW of wind capacity awarded to the consortium led by Acciona Energy and Aveng – the leading construction group in the country, these partners have also been selected to install a 74-MW photovoltaic plant. The 209 MW allocated jointly "will be installed between 2013 and 2014," says the Spanish company. Acciona Energy holds stakes of 51% in the companies awarded the capacity, while Aveng holds 29%. The remaining 20% is held by two South African social development companies.

The Gouda wind farm will be constructed in the town of the same name in the Drakenstein Municipality, Western Cape Province, in the west of the country. It will consist of 46 three-megawatt Acciona Windpower wind turbines. "Work will begin in 2013 and shall be completed in 2014," explains Acciona. A 50-50 joint venture owned by Acciona and Aveng will build the wind farm and the PV plant (called Sishen and located in the municipality of Dibeng). This company will also operate and maintain both facilities.

Vestas and Suzlon

Meanwhile, Vestas has confirmed that it will supply five of the seven projects. However, apart from confirming the capacity – 297 MW – it has not yet revealed which projects these are. Meanwhile, the wind turbine manufacturer Suzlon has been linked to the project corresponding to the remaining 138 MW (Eastern Cape wind farm). This project is being developed by Cennergi, a 50-50 joint venture between the local company Exxaro and India's Tata Electric Power. The consortium has chosen 66 2-1-MW Suzlon S97 wind turbines, while Suzlon has announced it will build the wind farm under a turnkey agreement.

This second round, held in April, follows the announcement of last December’s first round, in which the Department of Energy selected the preferred candidates to install 634 MW of wind capacity: 45% of the total 1,416 MW of renewable capacity allocated.

Among all the renewable energy projects selected, Spanish companies were associated with at least 510 MW. Abengoa was selected as preferred developer of 150 MW of solar thermal electric capacity, while Gestamp won at least 75 MW of wind capacity. A subsidiary of Iberdrola was selected to build around 250 MW of the awarded capacity.

These two rounds represent the first of the five rounds planned as part of the South African government's commitment to reach 3,700 MW of installed renewable energy capacity. The following three roudns will close on 20 August 2012, 4 March 2013 and, finally, 13 August of that year, according to information previously released by the Administration. In the longer term, the Government is considering adding a further 17 gigawatts (17,000 MW) of new renewable energy capacity by 2030. Of this, 8.4 GW is expected to be on wind farms.

For additional information:

South African Department of Energy

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