New heights reached yesterday as Eskom energises transformers and connects Sere wind farm to the national grid.

The construction of the Sere wind farm reached new heights this week with the energising of the transformers of the first string of seven wind turbine generators, a move that paved the way for Eskom to commence with the final commissioning of these turbines.

“I am sure that the team will continue with the same drive and commitment until all 46 wind turbines are in operation,” said Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Tshediso Matona, chief executive officer of Eskom, South Africa’s utility.

Sere wind farm is Eskom’s first large-scale renewable energy project, and forms part of the utility’s commitment to renewable energy and reducing its carbon footprint.

Eskom’s senior general manager for renewables, Ayanda Nakedi, said: “Last Friday (10th October 2014) we synchronised the first seven wind turbines to the national grid, adding 4.4MW as part of the final testing and commissioning process. The achievement of this milestone is in line with our target date of December 2014 and we remain on track to be in full commercial operation by end March 2015”.

Once completed, the plant will add 100MW to the national grid and contribute to saving nearly 6-million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the 20 years expected operating life, with average annual energy production of about 298 000MWh, enough to supply about 124 000 standard homes.

“Wind conditions have been favourable, and this past Monday, the Sere wind farm was contributing 15.7MW to the national grid,” said Nakedi

The R2.5-billion wind farm will also help diversify Eskom’s energy mix and contribute to South Africa’s objective of meeting 42% of the country’s power demand with renewable energy sources by 2030.

Matona expressed his appreciation for the work and progress achieved, “My thanks go out to the entire team for enabling us to reach this most significant of milestones. This milestone has been achieved through close co-ordination between various departments in Eskom and our contractors. This is evidence of what we can achieve as an organisation when we work together.”

Describing Sere Wind Farm

Sere Wind Farm is Eskom’s first full  scale renewable energy project, situated on the Western Cape Province of South Africa, located north-west of Vredendal, approximately 350 km north of Cape Town.

It sits on a 3 700 hectare plot of land in Skaapvlei near the town of Koekenaap Eskom’s Sere Wind Farm will comprise 46 Siemens 2.3-108 wind turbine generators. The project includes construction of a new substation and 44 km of 132 kV distribution line linking the new Skaapvlei substation to the existing Juno substation.