Nxuba wind farm
Featured image: Stock

Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), has commenced construction of its 140MW Nxuba wind farm in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.

The construction of Nxuba, which is expected to be completed by September 2020, will involve an overall investment of more than €200 million.

“Through the start of construction of the Nxuba wind farm, which is the first out of the five projects awarded to the company in South Africa’s 2015 renewable tender to begin construction, Enel confirms its commitment to grow and strengthen its presence in the country,” said Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power.

“This new project reaffirms EGP RSA’s contribution to further diversify South Africa’s generation mix, while supplying sustainable energy to Eskom, and promoting the socio-economic growth of local communities.”

Nxuba wind farm

Once fully up and running, Nxuba is expected to generate over 460GWh per year, avoiding the emission of around 500,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year. Read more: Wind farms underway seek to reduce carbon footprint

The wind farm will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, as part of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender, which awarded in April 2015 a total of five wind projects for 700MW to the Enel Group in its fourth round.

EGP RSA will employ innovative tools and practices to build Nxuba such as advanced digital platforms and software solutions to monitor and remotely support site activities and plant commissioning, digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components.

These processes and tools will enable swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams.

Socio-economic development

The company together with its local partners has committed to ensure meaningful socio-economic and enterprise development, preferential procurement, and job creation in the surrounding communities, involving local businesses as suppliers.

 Furthermore, it will also be providing free WiFi to communities in the area and holding wind technology training courses for locals.

EGP RSA also focused on education, which is key for socioeconomic development, by supplying schools with clean energy through mini-PV systems, awarding scholarships to students and supporting a school feeding programme.