Africa Getting its First Giant Wind Farm

Four Cape Verde islands have just been granted funding to build Africa’s first giant wind farm. The project is being considered a model for other African countries.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) agreed last week to give 45 million euros ($62.84 million) “to design, build, and operate” this onshore wind energy project. The EIB will provide two-thirds of that and the ADB the other one third. The total project cost is 65 million euros, so the Cape Verdean government, Electra and InfraCo/Cabeolica will provide the remaining 20 million euros.

EIB stated: “this will be the first large scale wind project in Africa and first renewable energy public private partnership in sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The project propels Cape Verde into a position of leadership in renewable power generation in Africa, where the country’s Public Private Partnership structure will be extensively studied and replicated throughout the region,” said Fabio Borba, President of Cabeolica.

Cape Verde has some ambitions renewable energy targets — 25% renewable energy by 2012 and 50% renewable energy by 2020. This project will help the country get there by providing it with 28 MW of electricity.

“The project is being developed by InfraCo in a public-private partnership between the government of Cape Verde and local power utility Electra. Electra has for years been in the centre of a larger Cape Verdean privatisation scheme,” afrol News writes.

“Cape Verde is pleased to host the first large scale wind farm project in Africa and the project will help Cape Verde provide 50 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020. We thank the EIB and AfDB for their financial support and expertise in making this project possible,” Cape Verde Minister of Finance Cristina Duarte said at the signing ceremony.

Whereas we have to focus on the economic benefits of clean energy anytime something like this happens in the US, it’s nice to see that they were happy and eager to point out the environmental benefits.

Plutarchos Sakellaris of the EIB stated: “Enabling small island states to use renewable energy contributes to the global fight against climate change.”

Photo Credit: Erik Cleves Kristensen