120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility connected to the grid

The 120 MW Golden Valley Wind Energy Facility, in the Eastern Cape, is the latest wind farm to be connected to South Africa’s national grid.  “We are pleased to announce the successful commissioning of all 48 wind turbine generators as the year draws to an end and we prepare to have our portfolio in operations in the next quarter,” says BioTherm Energy CEO Robert Skjodt.

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AfDB secures nearly $90m in new funding towards sustainable energy in Africa

The African Development Bank says it has secured $90-million in new donor commitments towards the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa). In a statement dated Wednesday, the AfDB said the Sefa had also been transformed on Monday into an expanded and more flexible fund that is more responsive to Africa’s fast changing energy market, with a sharper focus on green mini-grids and green baseload and offering a wider array of catalytic finance instruments.

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Planet-warming emissions from buildings put climate goals at risk

Planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions from buildings and construction are jeopardising global goals to keep devastating climate change at bay, a UN-backed coalition warned on Wednesday, after data showed they hit an all-time high in 2019. The use of coal, oil and natural gas for heating, lighting and cooking fuelled a rise in emissions from the operation of buildings to about 10 gigatons last year, including direct emissions and indirect emissions from power generation, the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (GlobalABC) said.

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Growthpoint mourns the passing of chief development, investment officer Rudolf Pienaar

Property group Growthpoint Properties says it announces “with great sadness” the sudden passing of its chief development and investment officer Rudolf Pienaar. “Growthpoint is indebted to Rudolf for his passion, drive, dedication, and leadership, especially in the field of green building and environmental sustainability. His passing will certainly leave a void within the larger South African property community – in which he played a significant role. Rudolf will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family at this very difficult time,” says Growthpoint CEO Norbert Sasse.

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Pan African appoints juwi South Africa as EPC contractor for R140m Evander solar PV plant

Gold miner Pan African Resources has entered into an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) agreement with juwi South Africa to build a 9.975 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Evander Mines. Construction on the R140-million solar PV plant will start in the first quarter of 2021, with first power expected in the third quarter.

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SNC-Lavalin South Africa bought out by local management team, renamed Aurex Constructors

The South African management team of SNC-Lavalin South Africa, led by VP Stuart Kent, has completed the buyout of the local entity and renamed it Aurex Constructors. The management team of the South African entity recognised the advantages of becoming a wholly owned South African company.

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Cape Town pair develop water importance initiative

Independent facilitator Peter Willis and filmmaker Victor van Aswegen have collaborated to build a unique initiative to capture learnings from Cape Town’s 2017/18 water crisis, during which a prolonged drought resulted in the city almost running out of potable water resources. The Cape Town Drought Response Learning Initiative is now available for use by decision-makers and urban resilience professionals around the world to reflect on critical infrastructure challenges in their own cities.

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South Africa’s renewables plan presents ‘remarkable’ industrialisation opportunity

The roll-out of renewable energy at the scale envisaged in South Africa’s official electricity plan to 2030 presents a “remarkable” industrialisation opportunity, the leader of the South African Renewable Energy Masterplan (SAREM) project team, Francis Jackson, argues. Jackson, who is also a GreenCape special adviser, cautions, however, that the local industrial capacity built between 2010 and 2015 – when South Africa was procuring new capacity on a regular basis under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) – has since been downscaled and will have to be rebuilt.

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University of Western Cape’s latest residence on track to start operating early in 2022

The University of the Western Cape (UWC) says its 2 700-bed Unibell student residence is on track to start operating its administration area early in 2022, after construction work got under way in September.

Located in Belhar, the R640-million residence is within walking distance of the university’s main campus and a train station.

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PPP creates numerous opportunities

The innovative new R3.4-billion Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ), which was officially announced in November last year by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa and Gauteng Premier David Makhura, is forging ahead with extensive clearing of the site, groundworks and the installation of bulk infrastructure currently underway. TASEZ was visited in September this year by Makhura; Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) deputy minister Fikile Majola; City of Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa; as well as DTIC director-general and TASEZ chairperson Lionel October, reaffirming the importance of this pioneering public-private partnership.

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