BioTherm Energy steams ahead with South African wind and solar projects

Johannesburg-based BioTherm Energy has agreed financing terms for one wind and two solar PV projects in South Africa.

Construction work on the projects, which will have a combined capacity of 47MW, will begin immediately, BioTherm said.

The go-ahead comes after BioTherm secured backing from Denham Capital, an international energy-focused private equity firm, in addition to partnerships with a number of black economic empowerment funds.

The 27MW Dassiesklip wind farm will be located in Caledon, Western Cape, while the two 10MW solar farms, Aries and Konkoonsies, will be locatedin Kenhardt, North Cape, and Pofadder, Northern Cape respectively. Both solar projects have expansion potential —supporting BioTherm’s stated strategy of constructing smaller-sized projects initially, before focusing long-term on larger-scale projects.

Earlier this month Biotherm was awarded the licences to proceed with the projects by South Africa’s Department of Energy, in the first round of bidding in the government’s Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

“These three projects represent a pivotal point for our company,” said BioTherm chief executive officer Jasandra Nyker. “Our management team has more than 100 years of wind and solar development and investment expertise, and we are uniquely positioned as one of the few developers with access to capital—a key element to opportunistically acquire projects for future development.”

With a focus on renewable power in all of Southern Africa, BioTherm has a pipeline of wind and solar projects in development that totals an estimated 2.4 GW in capacity.

The solar power market in South Africa has ramped up a gear, with a stream of project news emanating from the country in recent days. See here for our top 5 project announcements so far this month (November 2012).

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Photovoltaics (PV)  •  Policy, investment and markets  •  Solar electricity  •  Wind power