South Africa benefits from favourable climatic conditions to meet the rapidly growing electricity demand of the population while adressing the challenges of electrification and sustainable energy transition. To accompany this switch, EDF has developed a low-carbon solution portfolio composed by hydro and off-grid projects as well as wind, solar and hybrid projects through its subsidiary EDF Renewables South Africa.
wind farms constructed and operated by EDF since 2011
MW, the installed capacity from four wind farms
South-African households served in total
EDF renewables South Africa
EDF renewables South Africa currently operates four wind farms across the country with an installed capacity of 142 MW. The four wind farms supply enough power for 86,000 South-African homes. EDF renewables South Africa is anchoring its footprint in the wind sector after being awarded three more wind energy projects in 2021 in the 5th Bid Window of REIPPPP, and is diversifying its activities through other solar and hybrid projects.
Historic Wind Farm Projects: Grassridge, Waainek & Chaba
Situated in the Eastern Cape province, the Grassridge, Waainek and Chaba Wind Farms were selected in 2012 within the South-African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers program (REIPPP). All the EDF Renewables projects reached their commercial operation between January 2015 and January 2016 and they all now supply enough power for around 72,000 South African homes. 35 turbines were build across the 3 sites to reach an installed capacity of 110.6 MW.
Recent major project: Wesley-Ciskei Wind Farm
The Wesley-Ciskei Wind Farm forms part of the fourth round of the South-African Program for the development of renewable energy in the country (REIPPP). Supported by a partnership between EDF and Eskom, the construction of the farm with a planned installed capacity of 34.5 MW took less than 2 years despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The farm was commissioned in August 2021 and is now fully operational to supply the equivalent of 22,400 homes.
Solar and hybrid projects : a key development perspective
EDF Renewables South Africa is also developing renewable solutions through solar and hybrid projects (wind, solar and battery storage).
In September, 2021 EDF Renewables and its partner Pele Green Energy were selected for a first of its kind large corporate solar photovoltaics project, in a tender from mining company Anglo-American Platinum. Through this corporate power purchase agreement, the consortium will build and operate a 100 MW power plant at the Mogalakwena platinum mine, in the Limpopo province. The low-carbon electricity produced each year to power the mine will replace the high-carbon grid electricity currently used.
Off-grid electrification : Encourage low carbon electrification in rural areas
Access to energy is a major challenge in certain remote areas. Since 2002, EDF has been developing solutions for rural provinces via KES (Kukhanya Energy Services), a South African company partially owned by EDF. KES installs and operates individual solar energy kits which include easy-to-install solar panels together with batteries to store the electricity. The kits are associated with phone prepaid plans, which are then used for lighting and powering a set of low consumption domestic appliances: TV, radio, fan, mobile phone charger.
KES target: supply 270,000 South Africans in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
Hydro energy: a key development axis
EDF has gained strong experience in the development of hydroelectric projects and offers high value-added industrial services for existing facilities. The Group takes advantage of these skills to support international projects, particularly in Africa. Since 2018, EDF has been part of a consortium of Cameroonian and global players acting for the development and construction of the Nachtigal project in Cameroon.
EDF capitalizes on its former experience and wishes to expand its hydro activities in Southern Africa in the coming years. In 2021, EDF was designated "preferred bidder" for the Mpatamanga project together in Malawi along with the Norwegian company Scatec. The tender of this 350 MW hydroelectric project has been launched by the Malawian government together with IFC.