23 May 2013 – A R66 million contract for design, manufacture and supply of 60 pad-mounted transformer kiosks for the 138 MW Jeffreys Bay wind farm in the Eastern Cape has been awarded to Actom MV Switchgear.

The Jeffreys Bay wind farm is one of 28 renewable energy projects being established by independent power producers (IPPs) as part of a South African government-approved plan to provide additional power to supplement that generated by Eskom’s power stations.

The 28 projects, which comprise wind, solar  photo-voltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP)  technologies, are the first of a series of windows or groups of renewable energy projects due to be established from now until 2030, with approximately one new window being launched every year up to that date.

The window 1 projects will produce a total of 1,400 MW of power to be fed into the national grid. Actom MV Switchgear was awarded the contract in early-February 2013 by Midrand-based electrical infrastructure construction and development company Consolidated Power Projects (Conco), which is contracted to erect the Eskom and IPP substations, transmission lines and underground collector cabling network linking the wind turbines to the national power grid.

Okkie van Zyl, Actom MV Switchgear’s commercial manager, says each pad-mounted transformer kiosk (PTK) will contain a customised 2.7 MVA 33 kV/690 V distribution transformer, a 33 kV gas-insulated ring main unit and low voltage equipment.

“Actom, with its extensive local manufacturing facilities and expertise, is well placed to meet the local content requirements of the renewable energy projects now being established, with many more to come over the next two decades,” he says.  

Actom MV Switchgear, in conjunction with sister company Actom Distribution Transformers and in consultation with substation project management contractors like Conco, has developed PTK’s especially for these applications. “The 12.4 t renewable energy PTK is a heftier version of the miniature substation used in standard distribution and industrial applications, but with the major difference of containing a transformer with very low load and no-load losses,” Van Zyl explains.

“In addition, the voltages and other requirements often differ from one renewable energy project to another, so there’s a much greater level of customisation involved.”

Deliveries to Conco of the PTK’s for the Jeffreys Bay wind farm are scheduled to start in July 2013 and to be completed by November.