Typically our phases of project development are as follows:
During the Site Identification phase a pre-feasibility assessment is performed, some of the most important evaluation criteria for the selection of suitable land in this regard include, but are not limited to:
Environmental sensitivities, particularly threatened or protected fauna and flora
Socio-economic conditions of the neighbouring communities;
Renewable energy resource, whether it be wind or solar;
Electrical grid connection capacity;
Constructability, including geotechnical and topographical conditions; and
Accessibility and availability of key construction materials including water, aggregate and concrete;
Once the site has been identified as worthy of further investigation the Development Team will contact the landowners to discuss the possibility of development and if so to organise a site visit. If no fatal flaws are identified during the initial site visit, we enter into sound commercial agreements with the landowners. Such agreements cover the period of development, operation and decommissioning of the renewable energy generation facilities. We pride ourselves in the fact that we foster long-term mutually respectful and beneficial partnerships with our landowners.
Where does the wind blow best? How strongly does it blow, at what frequency and ultimately how much energy can we expect to generate from a planned wind farm? Determining accurate answers to these questions is the daily business of our highly experienced Site Assessment Team.
To do this we install meteorological measurement towers (met-masts) of up to 120m in height, each equipped with a variety of sophisticated measurement devices. The collected data is used to highly refine our understanding of the wind conditions and optimise our site layouts using state-of-the-art software.
The experience gained by developing a large portfolio of development projects across South Africa has enabled us to gain a clear understanding of the vast technical and permitting challenges that typically arise throughout the development process. Currently the critical permits required for a project include:
Environmental Authorisation (EA)
South African Civil Aviation Authority Approval
Section 53: Surface Land Use Approval
Land Rezoning Approval
Consent in terms of the Subdivision of Land Act
Consent in terms of the Electronic Communications Act, and
Water Use Licence Other important development tasks include investigating construction feasibility in terms of site access, geotechnical constraints, technology suitability and construction commodities.
Through previous dealings we have built good business relationships with the major investors in the South African renewable energy industry. Once a project is fully developed and permitted the Development Team initiates an investor selection process whereby investors are given the opportunity to get involved in the project. A preferred investor that would give a project the greatest chance of succeeding is finally selected to take ownership in the project. The project is then either bid into the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) or large energy users through wheeling agreements.
Once a project has been preliminarily accepted it needs to complete the final development tasks necessary for construction to take place, this includes:
Acquiring the final permits and authorisations necessary for Financial Close.
Final debt and equity discussions.
Finalisation of the Financial Model.