The West Bakr Wind in Egypt has synchronised the first 20 turbines and the wind farm will now provide power to the grid. Synchronisation is an important step to the completion of the project and now that the milestone has been reached, the wind farm is producing the first clean energy for Egypt.
Located 30 kilometres north-west of Ras Ghareb, West Bakr Wind is due to become fully operational by the end of 2021. Construction began on the wind farm in September 2019, and the first turbines were installed in late December 2020.
Lekela, a renewable power generation company, celebrated the landmark moment of putting the 250MW project one step closer to completion.
The project is part of the Egyptian government’s Build, Own Operate (BOO) scheme, a key part of the government’s ambitious aims to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022. West Bakr Wind will produce over 1,000GWh every year for 20 years and prevent more than 550,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually. On its own, West Bakr Wind will increase Egypt’s wind capacity by 18%.
The project will have a long-term impact beyond just generating electricity for 20 years. The West Bakr Wind Farm also has a long-term commitment to the nearby local community of Ras Ghareb. The development of the next stage of this sustainable community plan is underway.
As well as creating jobs during the construction period, the project is also supporting the local community through a number of socio-economic initiatives. These include its Women Empowerment Programme, which is focusing on skills development for women in Ras Ghareb including a Female Engineering Apprenticeship Programme specifically aimed at increasing female participation in the renewables sector in Egypt.
Lekela’s local commitment also includes protecting the Gulf of Suez’s rich biodiversity with the development of a ‘shut down on demand’ programme to protect migrating birds.
Faisal Eissa, general manager for Egypt at Lekela, said: “With the first turbines at West Bakr wind farm reaching synchronisation, we are one step closer to providing Egypt with clean, renewable wind power.”
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“While the 250MW wind farm will provide a much-needed uplift to Egypt’s wind capacity, providing that power is just one part of our work. We are committed to protecting the Gulf of Suez’s biodiversity through our migratory bird programme and supporting the nearby community of Ras Ghareb, now and in the future.”