Large scale wind farm to be built in Cape Verde

A large scale onshore wind farm of more than 28 megawatts is to be established on four islands in the Cape Verde archipelago.

The project is being developed by InfraCo in a public-private partnership between the government of Cape Verde and local power utility Electra. The European Investment Bank and African Development Bank last week agreed to provide €45 million for the €65 million project.

The wind farms are expected to help the island reach an ambitious target of ensuring that 25% of local power needs are provided by renewable energy by 2012 and 50% by 2020.

A special purpose company, Cabeolica S.A., owned by the GoCV, Electra, InfraCo, Africa Finance Corporation and Finnfund will develop, build, finance and operate the Cape Verde Wind Farm project for the project promoters

“Cape Verde is pleased to host the first large scale wind farm project in Africa and the project will help Cape Verde provide 50% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020,” said Cape Verde minister of finance Cristina Duarte.

“This project establishes wind energy as a competitive alternative to traditional diesel generation in Cape Verde. Enabling small island states to use renewable energy contributed to the global fight against climate change. Close cooperation between the European Investment Bank and African Development Bank demonstrates the contribution long-term public finance can make to developing renewable energy projects in a challenging economic climate,” said Plutarchos Sakellaris, European Investment Bank vice president responsible for Africa.

Wind energy was first introduced to Cape Verde in 1994, but until now only provides 2% of power needs in the small island state located 500km of the West African coast. The project will include comprehensive environmental studies, wind resource assessment and interconnections to the high-voltage network. All wind farms are expected to be operational by the end of 2011.