Macquarie fund in preferred wind farm consortium

African Infrastructure Fund 2, a joint venture between Macquarie and Old Mutual, is among five equity providers that form part of the African Clean Energy Developments consortium which has been awarded preferred bidder status for South Africa’s 138MW Cookhouse wind farm.

African Clean Energy Developments (ACED), a South African clean energy developer, has been awarded preferred bidder status for the development of the 138-megawatt (MW) Cookhouse wind farm.

The award was made under the South African Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and followed a competitive tender process based on aspects such as technical criteria, economic empowerment and price. The project is expected to require more than R2.4 billion (€220 million; $285 million) in investment over the next two years.  

Cookhouse is expected to reach financial close in June 2012, with project debt being fully underwritten by South African banks Nedbank and Standard Bank.

Construction equity is being provided by: African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 (AIIF2), a $500 million joint venture between Australia’s Macquarie and South Africa’s Old Mutual Investment Group; Globeleq, a power company owned by emerging markets fund manager Actis; AFPOC, which, together with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (the manager of AIIF2), owns ACED; IDEAS, a ‘socially responsible’ investment vehicle owned by Old Mutual; and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, the South African development finance institution.

In addition, 15 percent of the project will be owned by the Cookhouse Wind Farm Community Trust, a trust fund on behalf of the local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford and Somerset East, which are all in close proximity to the wind farm in the Eastern Cape region.

When completed, the Cookhouse wind farm will be the largest wind farm in Africa with an installed capacity of just over 138MW.

“We are pleased to have been selected by the Department of Energy as a preferred bidder and look forward to delivering a world class renewable energy asset that will help satisfy South Africa’s increasing demand for power through the supply of clean energy,” said Thomas Donnelly, managing director of ACED, in a statement.