S. Africa Advancing Wind Energy

S. Africa Advancing Wind Energy
S. Africa Advancing Wind Energy

French Energy Company Engie said Tuesday it was helping South Africa's government move one step closer to its low-carbon goals with commercial wind operations, reported.

The French company announced the start of commercial operations at the West Coast One wind farm, located about 80 miles north of Cape Town. "South Africa is an important market for Engie and we are a committed long-term investor in the African continent," the company's chairman, Gerard Mestrallet, said in a statement. "The West Coast One wind farm supports South Africa's objective of increasing renewable generation and promoting local economic development."

The South African government established a so-called war room to cope with a looming energy crisis. In March, South African President Jacob Zuma said time was running short because of the rapid maturation of the fleet of electricity generating power stations.

Energy security, he said, is the "single most important challenge" to be addressed in order to revitalize the nation's economy.

The French government said West Coast One will offset about 5.6 million tons of carbon dioxide for the next 20 years and help the Zuma government move closer to its 20-year plan to have 42 percent of its electricity needs, or about 17 gigawatts, met by renewable energy. About half of that is allocated to onshore wind.

West Coast One has the capacity to generate 94 megawatts of power. Engie has a 20-year purchase agreement with state-owned utility Eskom Holdings.