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Inspired Evolution to Invest in South African Wind Farm Project

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Dec. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Inspired Evolution Investment Management Ltd., a clean-technology fund manager, will invest as much as 146 million rand ($20.5 million) in a wind farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

The money will be used to purchase and install wind turbines for a 100-megawatt wind farm under development in the Koega region, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, Mark Tanton, managing director of Red Cap, the Cape Town-based renewable energy company leading the project, said in a telephone interview today.

The company’s Evolution One, a 700 million rand clean-technology private-equity fund, joined the project in July, getting a 26 percent stake for its investment, Tanton said. The 2 billion-rand wind farm is a joint venture between Red Cap, Afri-Coast Engineers SA Ltd., an engineering company based in Port Elizabeth, and Euro Cape Renewables, a Cape-Town-based wind project developer, he said.

The wind farm has been under development for the past four years and forms part of a 300-megwatt wind energy portfolio. A total of 9,000 hectares (22,239 acres) of land has been secured from farmers in region, Tanton said. It will be developed to coincide with South Africa’s renewable energy feed-in tariff program, he said.

An environmental impact assessment for the project is currently available for public comment and a formal application to authorities will be made in January, he said.

Turbine Talks

A tender process is currently under way for a turbine supplier and Red Cap is in talks with most major turbine suppliers to South Africa, Tanton said.

Afri-Coast will be responsible for the construction of the wind farm, Gerald Ehlers, the company’s project manager, said in a telephone interview. In May, Afri-Coast built a pilot turbine for Belgian wind energy company Electrawinds NV in a project under development in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, a new harbour in Port Elizabeth.

Evolution One was started in 2008 with investments that span renewable energy, water purification, waste management and energy efficiency technology, according to its website. The fund in October said it invested 51.8 million rand in Enviroserv, a South African waste management company. The Koega wind farm is the Cape Town-based fund’s second investment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren van der Westhuizen in Cape Town at at lvanderwesth@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net.

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