Hydro developer Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd (REH) has begun commercial operations of its 4.5MW Stortemelk Hydro plant, the third hydro scheme developed by the company in South Africa.

The R 190 million project, which was awarded Preferred Bidder status under Bid Window 2 of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer (REIPP) Procurement Programme, is located near Clarens in the Free State province of South Africa.

Similar to the two hydropower plants previously developed by REH (formerly known as NuPlanet) for Bethlehem Hydro Pty Ltd, the project is situated on the Ash River and utilizes the outflow from the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The contractors to the project were split between the ‘water to wire’ turbine, generator and switchgear contractors, Andritz Hydro GmbH of Austria and Indar Electrical SL of Spain,  with Aurecon South Africa Pty Ltd acting as the EPCM Contractor,  and Eigenbau Pty Ltd as civil works contractor.

With the addition of this new project, the combined capacity of the REH’s portfolio of hydropower plants in South Africa is 11MW with an annual generation in excess of 70GWh.