Turbine foundations being laid at N Cape wind project

Umsobomvu local municipality mayor Nombulelo Hermans at the Noupoort Wind Farm site

LAYING THE FOUNDATION Umsobomvu local municipality mayor Nombulelo Hermans at the Noupoort Wind Farm site

21st August 2015

By: Sashnee Moodley

Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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The construction of the first 14 wind turbine foundations for the Noupoort Wind Farm, in the Umsobomvu local municipality, in the Northern Cape, was completed last month, with the remaining 21 foundations expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The R1.9-billion project will consist of 35 wind turbines, with an output of 80 MW and a turbine capacity of 2.3 MW each as well as a substation and 10-km-long 132 kV transmission line.

Noupoort Wind Farm project manager Martina Flanagan tells Engineering News that, following the construction of all 35 foundations, the wind turbine components will be delivered to site; this is expected at the end of this month, with the project slated for completion by mid-2016.

Multinational company Siemens Wind Power will supply the turbines and the 99 m turbine towers will be the first to be manufactured at the new Gestamp wind turbine tower factory, in the Western Cape. The blades, hubs and nacelles that comprise the turbines will arrive from the Port of Ngqura, in Coega, outside Nelson Mandela Bay, in the Eastern Cape.

The wind farm is expected to generate about 305 000 MWh/y of clean, renewable energy into the national grid.

When operating at full capacity, it is expected to supply enough green electricity to power about 70 000 average South African homes and prevent about 300 000 t of carbon emissions a year.

The farm is being built on an undeveloped site surrounding a small rural community and is situated 11 m from the State-owned power utility Eskom’s 132 kV overhead transmission line, which the wind farm will feed into.

Flanagan says the site was chosen owing to its excellent wind resource and close proximity to national roads and the transmission line.

“When the project is operational, the local community will benefit from enterprise development and socioeconomic development initiatives funded by a proportion of the project revenue. “The community also owns 5% of the project through a trust,” Flanagan says.

More than 200 locals have been employed to work on the project, including the assembly of the wind turbine foundations, and will continue throughout the construction period.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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