Iberdrola completes SA wind farms

Spanish energy group Iberdrola said it has finished building two wind farms in South Africa – the Noblesfontein and Klipheuwel plants – as part of €273m ($371m) of work in the country.

The group’s Iberdrola Ingenieria EPC unit completed work at the 74MW Noblesfontein under a €112m turnkey contract from a consortium led by its compatriot Gestamp Wind.

Noblesfontein, in Northern Cape, uses 41 1.8MW wind turbines from Denmark's Vestas.

The 27MW Klipheuwel wind farm was built under a €40m deal with local developer Biotherm Energy and uses nine turbines from China’s Sinovel, said Iberdrola in an update on its first projects in the country.

The company does not say if power generation has started at the plants.

Both wind farms were awarded under the first round of South Africa’s renewable energy support programme in 2011.

Their construction marks another step forward for South Africa's fast-emerging wind sector, which last week saw the inauguration of the 138MW Jeffreys Bay plant, also a first round project.

Iberdrola is also “close to completing” the 96MW Jasper PV facility in Kimberley, which it said will be Africa’s largest.

Iberdrola Ingenieria’s contract at Jasper is worth €121m. The project is being developed by a group led by SolarReserve of the US, and includes Google as an investor.