NETGroup Plans to Construct 25 MW Wind Farm in Lesotho


Environmental Impact studies are currently underway for NETGroup Solutions, a consultancy company in South Africa, has announced plans about developing a wind power farm with 25 MW capacity in the highlands of Lesotho. The construction of the wind farm located near the diamond mine of Letseng La Terai is expected to commence by the end of the year 2010 and will begin its commercial production by the year 2012.

NETGroup is yet to zero-in on a company for the supply of wind turbines for the proposed farm. It is considering manufacturing companies such as Vergnet from France, Gamesa from Spain and Vestas from Netherlands. Since, the proposed wind farm is located at a height of 3,000 meters in the mountain range of Maluti, the company is planning to choose either 850 kW or 1 MW capacity wind turbine models that allow easy transportation to the wind farm site.
Total cost of this wind farm project is worked out to be approximately $79m (ZAR 600m). The company is in the process of securing investments for the project and has initiated negotiations with lending banks and other wind power manufacturers. On establishing the wind farm, the company is planning to sell the produced power to Lesotho Electricity Company, a Lesotho government company. Though South Africa is yet to formulate any feed-in tariffs for the power developed from clean energy sources, it is currently working on it and its tariff policy is expected to be announced during March 2011.

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