HomeNewsLoeriesfontein Wind Farm achieves construction milestone

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm achieves construction milestone

Today, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm announced the completion of all 61 wind turbine installations as well as having achieved over 1,25 million hours without a single lost-time-incident, as of 1 March 2017.

Christo Loots, project manager of Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, said:“This is a hugely significant health and safety construction milestone for one of the country’s largest wind farms, so considering the sheer scale of the project, the multiple level of activities and the complexities involved, it is an impressive achievement.” Read more…

Loeriesfontein secures strong workforce

According to a statement on behalf of the Farm, the wind farm completed the lifting of all its wind turbine generators ahead of expectation which is attributed to the dedicated turbine installation crew who began the lifting process during August 2016.

The installation crew worked many late nights and early mornings to take advantage of the periods of low wind to install all the turbines in six months and ahead of schedule.

Approximately 70% of the workforce come from the Loeriesfontein community and have directly benefitted from the skills development programmes, the statement added.

This work experience will no doubt benefit Khobab Wind Farm, the adjacent wind farm, which will commence with its first turbine lifting early next month.

Turbine technology

The Siemens wind turbines, which are 100m tall to allow for optimum energy production, take between one and three days to construct, assuming the weather is favourable, the statement explained.

The three 53m blades, made from fibreglass reinforced epoxy, are connected to the rotor at ground level before being lifted to the top of the turbine.

This is a complicated lifting exercise, in which one crane raises the assembled rotor whilst another smaller crane and taglines guide the rotor into the correct position.

The wind turbine’s tip reaches an impressive 154m into the sky when one of the blades stands vertically. The heaviest component is the nacelle, which contains the generator and gearbox; and weighs 82.5 tonnes.

Khobab and Loeriesfontein Wind Farms, which together span 6,653 hectares, will produce an impressive combined output of 280MW generated by their 122 wind turbines. Read more…

This is equivalent of 240,000 average households being powered each year, providing a massive boost to energy provision in the country.

The site was chosen because of its excellent wind resource, its proximity to national roads for wind turbine transportation and the favourable construction conditions.

LWF panoramic. Source: LWF
Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.