The South Africa Dept. of Mineral Resources and Energy has signed a project development agreement with French renewable energy developer and operator EDF Renewables for three onshore wind power generation projects with a combined capacity of 420 MW.

The deal, signed Sept. 22 between state-owned power utility Eskom SA and EDF, comes after a nearly four-month-long delay of the original planned groundbreaking. The three projects, located in San Kraal and Phezukomoya in the country's Northern Cape province and Coleskop in the Eastern Cape province, will also include construction of 132-kV transmission lines to tie them into the existing power grid.

EDF Renewables has not yet announced the turbine supplier for the wind installations, although the company had previously picked Vestas Wind Systems A/S to supply earlier wind power projects in South Africa such as the 35-MW Wesley-Ciskei facility in Eastern Cape.

EDF was selected as a preferred bidder in October 2021 to develop 25 planned wind and solar projects across the country totaling 2.58 GW. Project agreements for the remaining 22 projects are expected to be signed once the government fast-tracks the National Integrated Resource Plan that targets generation of 20 GW of electricity from wind and solar by 2030.

South Africa currently relies on coal and crude oil for more than 80% of its electricity supply. The country has approved a number of power projects in recent years to cope with a supply crunch that has led to blackouts and service interruptions.

Eskom has launched several programs in recent weeks to sign further power-purchase agreements with available suppliers, including independent domestic producers with excess generating capacity and bilateral agreements to import power into South Africa from neighboring countries.