Enel Green Power “Investor of the Year” in South Africa

Published on Thursday, 12 November 2015

Enel Green Power has won a new important recognition for the construction of zero-emission power plants. The Enel company received the Investor of the Year Award in South Africa, for its numerous projects in the renewable sector. The award was presented at the South Africa-Italy Business Excellence Awards, an event organised by the Economic Office of South Africa’s General Consulate in collaboration with the Italian-South African Chamber of Commerce in Johannesburg.

South Africa is experiencing a strong demographic and economic growth, but like many African countries, it still lacks the necessary power generation and transmission infrastructures to drive its development. On and off grid renewables are the perfect solution to quickly respond to the growing demand for energy at zero emissions.

The South African government has therefore expanded the energy generation market to the private sector, through the Renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP), consisting in a series of tenders to assign independent power producers the construction of renewable plants, thereby reaching a generation capacity from renewable sources of 18 gigawatts by 2030. With the completion of REIPPP, South Africa will be among the top 15 countries in the world in terms of installed renewable capacity.

A massive growth, which sees Enel Green Power at the forefront. In less than four years after beginning operations in the country, the Enel Company has won 1,200 megawatts of wind and solar energy projects. In 2014, EGP connected its first PV plant in Upington, South Africa (10 MW) and began the construction of the Gibson Bay (111 MW) and Nojoli (88 MW) wind farms, as well as PV plants in Aurora, Paleisheweul, Pulida (each with a capacity of 82.5 MW) and Tom Burke (66 MW). More recently, it was awarded five wind energy supply contracts (Oyster Bay, Karusa, Nxuba, Soetwater and Garob), strengthening its position as the largest private player in the African continent's renewable energy sector.

‘This acknowledgement is a pleasant surprise that demonstrates our growing commitment to invest in the country,’ said EGP’s Europe and Africa Area Manager Carlo Pignoloni. ‘South Africa is a market with great potential that can act as a “bridge” for neighbouring countries with similar characteristics.’

EGP's commitment is not limited to power plants. The country is one of the priorities in the company’s development strategy: EGP founded an actual green energy school in South Africa, the Enel Green Power Academy, where individuals learn to install, manage and maintain solar panels.