WIND FARM PROJECT BEGINS COMMERCIAL OPERATION
Updated: Mar 10
Lekela, the renewable power generation company that delivers utility scale projects across Africa, recently marked another important milestone when its Perdekraal East wind farm began commercial operations. This will add 110MW to South Africa’s national grid; the first of Lekela’s wind farms, Noupoort, reached commercial operation in 2016.
Situated in the Witzenburg municipality near Matjiesfonten in the Western Cape, Perdekraal East has 48 turbines generating approximately 360 GWh of energy each year, enough to supply power for 111000 homes. It has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom and Lekela co-owns the project with the local community, which has a shareholding through a community trust.
Perdekraal East is one of the company’s eight projects on the continent, with four in operation in South Africa and a further four under construction in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana and Egypt. In total, Lekela has more than 1000MW in operation or under construction in its African portfolio.
CEO Chris Antonopoulos says that every renewable project which reaches completion means South Africa gains more advantage from its abundant sustainable resources. More vital power flows into the national grid with all the concomitant benefits for the country and its citizens. The facility will eliminate approximately 410 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
All Lekela’s projects actively support their local communities. This includes providing job opportunities, sourcing from the local economy and investing in community projects. During the course of construction, over 400 people from local communities secured employment on the wind farm.
In South Africa, Lekela’s wind farms are co-owned by reputable South African investors as well as local community trusts. Wherever feasible, Lekela continues to drive an increase in the local content of its projects. This is in line with the company’s focus on creating long term value for the communities where it operates. Beyond the provision of renewable power and employment, Leleka also focuses on promoting education and environmental initiatives.