South Africa To Begin Construction Of Its Biggest Private Renewable Plant


In a significant breakthrough for South Africa’s renewable energy sector, the construction of Red Cap Energy’s Impofu wind farms in Kouga, Eastern Cape, will begin in March 2024.

Comprising three 110-megawatt (MW) wind farms, this project is the country’s largest privately owned renewable energy facility.

Jadon Schmidt, Business Development Manager at Red Cap Energy, emphasizes the comprehensive initiatives pursued since 2013 to acquire land parcels and foster collaboration with local stakeholders in the development process.

Since 2013, Red Cap Energy has secured agreements for 87 distinct land parcels to facilitate the power line infrastructure. Over the years, extensive negotiations with farmers have resulted in lease agreements for land dedicated to the construction of wind turbines. Jadon Schmidt, the Business Development Manager, highlighted these efforts in a press release, emphasizing the collaborative approach. The wind farm project will span 12 pieces of land, accommodating a total of 57 turbines. Schmidt underlines the positive impact on local landowners, who stand to benefit significantly from the project.

Moreover, the venture is expected to contribute to enhanced local agricultural output, fostering a symbiotic relationship between renewable energy development and the surrounding community. The intricate process of securing land and engaging with stakeholders reflects Red Cap Energy’s commitment to sustainable and mutually beneficial practices in the renewable energy sector.

The project’s triumph can be attributed largely to the intimate collaboration with landowners, pivotal in determining the strategic placement of turbines and ensuring minimal interference with ongoing agricultural activities. Through this close partnership, Red Cap Energy has navigated the intricate balance between renewable energy development and preserving the essential functions of the surrounding land. The involvement of landowners has not only facilitated the smooth integration of the wind farm but has also contributed to a harmonious coexistence, underscoring the significance of community engagement in fostering sustainable and mutually beneficial initiatives within the realm of renewable energy.

 Vernon Basson, proprietor of Vergaderingskraal, a leased land parcel for the Impofu project, highlights the meticulous planning and thoughtful attention to environmental aspects throughout the process.

The entire process unfolded seamlessly. I strategically voiced preferences, ensuring roadways didn’t compromise land usability. Additionally, I provided insights on suitable turbine locations, considering factors like excessive wetness or challenging accessibility in certain areas,” remarked Basson.

Upon commencement in 2025, the Impofu wind farms will deliver 330 MW of renewable energy to Sasol South Africa’s Secunda site. This will be facilitated by an innovative 116-kilometer powerline, marking the country’s longest privately permitted powerline for a renewable energy initiative.

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