Building Energy to develop 147MW wind farm in Roggeveld and mini hydroelectric plant in Free State
The renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) has signed a power purchase (PPP) agreement with state-owned Eskom Holdings to develop two projects in South Africa.
The IPP will build, own, and operate a 147MW wind farm in Roggeveld, in the south west of the country.
The other energy project will be a 4.7MW mini hydroelectric plant in Free State, in central South Africa.
Together the projects are anticipated to cost €324mn (US$398.3mn) and reduce emissions by 526,700 tonnes.
Building Energy were awarded the status of preferred bidder in April 2015, with the agreements for the plants signed three years later.
The wind farm is expected to annually generate 613GWh, enough to provide energy to 49,200 houses and save 502,900 tonnes of CO2.
Constructing the farm will create more than 5,300 jobs, whilst operating the site will create 7,920 positions.
The mini hydroelectric plant will generate 28GWh per year – powering 2,330 households and annually saving 23,800 tonnes of CO2 per year.
The plant will also generate 714 jobs during the construction process, and 720-long term jobs once operational.
“We are delighted to have signed the agreement at the presence of Minister of Energy of South Africa for the construction of the Roggeveld plant, which represents our first wind farm in South Africa,” stated Matteo Brambilla, Managing Director Africa and Middle East at Building Energy.
“We are also excited to develop two of the 2.3GW of renewable energy projects allocated by South African Government in the first major investment deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa”.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.