Lake Turkana
Pic credit: archiexpo.com
South African wind farms could save one billion tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Pic credit: archiexpo.com

In South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, the Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, which commenced construction on Tuesday, celebrated a Ground Breaking ceremony attended by guests representing the local municipalities.

Tom Thorogood, General Manager of Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm said: “We are thrilled to be adding over a million megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy each year to the country’s national grid; avoiding an estimated twenty-two million  tonnes of carbon emissions over the lifespan of these projects, when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.”

Wind farms to power domestic households

With a combined value estimated at ZAR7 billion, the two wind farms are expected to reach commercial operation by December 2017, the wind farms said in a joint statement.

Located next to each other, the wind farms will each comprise of 61 Siemens Wind Power wind turbines, each with a combined output of 280MW. The generated power will be sufficient to electrify 240,000 average local households.

Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas expressed: “We are excited and optimistic about the prospects of renewable energy and we have always supported developments in this sector.

“The development of the Provincial Renewable Energy Strategy is a manifestation of the fast growing renewable energy and green economy sector in the province. We are well on our way to becoming a net producer of renewable energy to the rest of the country by 2020.”

Lucas added: “Renewable energy is expected to unlock existing potential and to position the province to attract both local and foreign investment and create much needed jobs.”

Wind farm specs

According to the statement, the site that stretches across 6,653 hectares, was selected for its optimal wind resource, favourable construction conditions and straightforward electrical connection into Eskom’s Helios substation.

The turbine towers, which tower 99 meters, will be manufactured by the Gestamp Wind Turbine Tower Factory in Atlantis in the Western Cape. The civil and electrical works will be carried out by a consortium comprised of Murray & Roberts Construction and Consolidated Power Projects.

Wind farms owned by consortium

Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms are owned by a consortium led by Lekela Power, which is dedicated to providing clean, renewable energy to the residents of South Africa.

The joint statement mentioned additional stakeholders with a vested interest including: Thebe Investment Corporation; The IDEAS Managed Fund; Futuregrowth Asset Management; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital; and the Khobab and Loeriesfontein Community Trusts.