Leading renewable energy project developer, Red Rocket, has started construction of the 84 Megawatt (MW) Wolf Wind Project in the Eastern Cape, following last week’s announcement that the project has reached financial close.
The Wolf Wind project was initially developed by JUWI, and successfully bid by Red Rocket in Round 5 of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REI4P).
The wind energy facility is projected to begin generating electricity for the South African grid by Q1 2024. It is the second wind project developed by JUWI to reach financial close under the REI4P – the first being the 138 MW Garob Wind Project that was successful in the previous REI4P bid round and which reached commercial operation in 2021.
“JUWI is committed to developing projects that help South Africa address the energy crisis and achieve the clean energy transition, and therefore the progress in rolling out REI4P projects is very encouraging,” said Richard Doyle, Managing Director, JUWI South Africa.
“Concurrently, it is heartening to see the exponential growth in demand from the public and private sectors for large scale renewable projects, and for hybrid projects that integrate battery storage. To support this demand, we plan to initiate the development of a further combined 1 GW of wind, solar and hybrid projects in 2023.”
South Africa’s renewable energy expansion
Exploding public and private demand for large-scale renewables due to South Africa’s energy crisis has led to rapid expansion of the clean energy leader’s footprint across the country, with over 1.5 GW of wind, 2 GW of solar and 500 MW of hybrid projects incorporating storage in development for private and public energy users.
“As a South African company and an independent power producer, we’ve been investing in solutions to address the energy crisis for over ten years. We’re proud to have partnered with JUWI on this project and pleased to have started construction on this and other large wind projects,” said Matteo Brambilla, CEO, Red Rocket. “The Wolf Wind Project will be generating more than 360 GWh of clean electricity for the South African grid per year, offsetting 374,400 tonnes of CO2 each year and the project will bring over 200-million-rand community investment over 20 years through local social projects.”
“A key barrier to bringing large projects like Wolf online is grid capacity,” said Chris Bellingham, Head of Project Development, JUWI South Africa. “Whilst we’re working on ways to overcome the challenges imposed on many of our projects by the Cape grid constraints, to meet the significant and growing demand for clean reliable power, we’re also actively developing a large portfolio of new and regionally diverse projects in unconstrained areas of the country’s grid.”