South Africa taps the wind as it battles to end energy crisis


South Africa has awarded the installation of a 250MW wind generating capacity worth R6 billion ($479 million) to Mainstream Renewable Power, a global developer of renewable energy projects. This comes as part of efforts to end the energy crisis in Africa’s most developed economy.

South Africa is dedicated to unleashing green energy into its power grid, nearly 100 percent of which is coal at this stage, according to Fin24.

Barry Lynch, Mainstream’s MD for Onshore Procurement, Construction and operations, said “renewable energy” is now cheaper than the latest coal-fired generation.

“They can be brought into commercial operation at the speed required. And thirdly, they meet the scale needed to address the country’s growing electricity demand,” Lynch said.

Ireland-based Mainstream focuses on wind and solar energy. It already has an output of 17GW from solar and wind farms throughout South Africa, Ireland, Canada and Chile. The company has won about 848MW of wind and solar projects in South Africa since it got its first contract in the country five years.

The firm is presently building three wind farms in the Northern Cape, South Africa, equalling 360MW.

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