- Karusa wind farm in Laingsburg Local Municipality achieved commercial operation giving the national grid access to an additional 147 MW of renewable energy.
- As part of the Enel Green Power plan for Creating Shared Value (CSV) associated with the construction of the wind farm, actions have been proposed to support the area’s employability and empowering local enterprises.
ENEL Green Power South Africa (EGP RSA) has connected to the electricity grid a 147 MW Karusa wind farm, which is located in a remote part of the Laingsburg Local Municipality in the Western Cape, and will be able to generate more than 500GWh annually, potentially averting the emission of approximately 500 000 t/pa of CO2 into the atmosphere. Karusa features the Vestas V136-4.2MW wind turbines, the largest on the African continent to date.
Awarded to Enel Green Power in 2016 as part of round four of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the wind farm is supported by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with South African energy utility provider, Eskom.
With Karusa wind farm operational, EGP RSA now has six wind farms up and running, including Nojoli (88 MW), Oyster Bay (148 MW), Nxuba (148 MW), Gibson Bay (111 MW) and Garob (145 MW), with its Soetwater (147 MW) wind farm also expected to achieve commercial operation during July 2022.
Collectively, the company has 10 operational wind and solar projects in South Africa. Once all current projects are in operation, the business will have an overall installed capacity of 1.2GW.
Manuele Battisti, Country Manager of EGP RSA, says construction of the Karusa facility commenced in 2019 and amounts to a €200-million investment in South Africa.
At the peak of the construction process of Karusa and Soetwater, the business had 1 160 employees on site.
EGP RSA is currently engaged in empowering local SMMEs through its Enterprise Development Support programme. This could include support in the form of funding, income generating assets (equipment), skills development and market linkages, amongst others.
Other Socio-Economic Development projects focusing on education, healthcare, social welfare and skills development will be implemented now that the project is operational.
In addition, a community needs assessment will be conducted to identify the most pressing community needs and pinpoint any skills gaps within the beneficiary communities. The investment in these communities is estimated to be €800 000 per annum.
Battisti says while the employees at Karusa worked under extraordinary circumstances, they concluded their work with zero lost-time incidents: “Completing the project despite challenging circumstances is testimony to their hard work and resilience”, he concluded.