The Cabeolica wind farm, set across four islands of the Cape Verde archipelago, has led the way in wind power generation in Africa.
The project company, Cabeolica S.A., was established by the founding partners in 2009 and began generating power from September 2011.
Lying across the trade winds belt, the archipelago has consistent wind speeds of up to 10m/s creating one of the best locations in the world for wind power generation. The farms’ ability to directly supply energy to the individual power grids on each of the islands means a sizable reduction in the need to import fuel, diminishing the country’s sensitivity to fluctuating commodity prices and reducing costs across the board.
Set over four islands; (Sao Vicente, Santiago, Sal and Boa Vista) the $84million project comprises of 30 class I V52 turbines, 4 substations and 33.5km of power cable and has reached maximum wind penetration for the islands. Each island has varying power capacity from 4MW to 10MW producing collectively up to 100GWh/yr. Cabeolica S.A. has allowed Cape Verde to reach its renewable energy production goals ahead of schedule.
Primary Economic Benefits
- The project’s energy production has reduced the country’s consumption of heavy oil fuels and diesel, translating into significant savings.
- Prior to the Cabeolica wind farm wind power provided only 2% of the country’s power needs. Now it is completed, Cabeolica provides 25% of the country’s energy.
- The project means a substantial reduction in fuel imports leading to significant financial savings.
- Abundant source of renewable energy, cheaper and cleaner than previous sources relied on in Cape Verde.
Primary Social Benefits
- The population of Cape Verde benefit from an upgraded and extended electricity grid.
- Reduced pressure on public funds to solely bear the cost of expanding energy generation capacity, freeing up funds for other public uses.
- Growth stimulated in the wider Cape Verdean economy and the country’s critical power deficit addressed.
- Cabeolica S.A. is the first commercial-scale, privately financed, public private partnership (PPP) wind farm in sub–Saharan Africa.
- The PPP is held between the Government of Cape Verde; Electra, the government owned utility company; and InfraCo, a publicly financed privately managed project development company.
- Equity investment was provided by FinnFund and the African Finance Cooperation for the commercial-scale project.
- Debt was supplied by the European Investment Bank ($42million) and the African Development Bank ($21million). The total capital cost was $84million.
- The Cabeolica wind farm was not the country’s first attempt at developing greater wind capacity. Between 1995 and 2004, with the assistance of the World Bank, the Cape Verdean Government attempted to secure bids on two separate occasions.
- InfraCo Africa invests where others may be unwilling, shouldering the direct costs and risks of early stage project development. With InfraCo’s support, we were able to navigate and resolve technical, legal and regulatory issues that enabled the wind farms to be commercially viable and be built in a short period of time.
Sponsoring government ministries
Ministry of Economic Growth and Competitiveness.
Approximate scope of project
Cost: $85.0 million
Time: Began Operating in late 2011
More Project Information
Winner of Best Renewable Project at 2011 Africa Energy Awards.
First commercial scale PPP for wind power in sub-Saharan Africa.
The project consists of 4 wind farms on Santiago, S. Vicente, Sal and Boa Vista islands.
Nominal capacity of 10MW; 6MW and 8MW, 4MW respectively.
- Government of Cape Verde
- Electra (Cape Verde power utility)
- African Finance Corporation
Developer In Charge
Ground Breaking Ceremony on S.Vincente, September 2010
The ground breaking ceremony on S. Vicente.
Cabeolica Development Video
The development video explaining the background and economic and social benefits of the Cabeolica project on Cape Verde.
Cabeolica, Cape Verde - 2014
Cabeolica, Cape Verde - 2014