Wind turbines Vestas establishes presence in Southern Africa

The opening of the office coincides with the successful commissioning of South Africa’s newest wind turbine at Coega – a Vestas V90-1.8 MW wind turbine – at the World Cup city of Port Elizabeth.

As the world comes to South Africa to celebrate football, wind energy will help to provide the energy to host football players and fans from around the world. The Coega turbine is a project of Belgian energy developer Electrawinds, which is a pioneer in renewable energy in emerging markets.

Vestas has been active in Southern Africa for several years, but the opening of an office in Johannesburg now is recognition of the positive environment for wind energy and represents a real commitment to the region over the long term.

Vestas also intends to clearly demonstrate its commitment to actively supporting the development of wind energy as an important source of energy for Southern Africa. In addition, Vestas is committed to supporting overall sustainable development, social development and economic development as a central part of its presence in the region.

“Vestas sees Southern Africa – and South Africa in particular – as key emerging markets for us and as leaders in the development of wind power in Africa,” says Hans Jörn Rieks, President of Vestas Central Europe.

“South Africa has made a solid commitment to a clean energy future and we want to build strong and constructive partnerships with customers, government, the energy industry and the sustainable development community to build a sustainable wind industry. We recognise that we have a responsibility not only to our customers, but to the environment around us, to our employees, and to all the communities we operate in.”

The Coega turbine will have an immediate impact on clean energy generation in South Africa; it will reduce CO2 emission by at least 3,700 tons a year, and will produce an estimated 5,700,000 kWh of clean energy every year – enough for over 2,400 South African families. In addition, the electricity generated by the turbine has been donated by Electrawinds to the Nelson Mandela Bay football stadium in Port Elizabeth.

"Electrawinds and Vestas are both writing history with this wind turbine: it is Electrawinds’ first project in South Africa and the first joint project here with Vestas," says Jan Dewulf, Electrawinds’ Director of Business Development. "It is also the start of what we hope will be the first commercial wind farm in this country. This project has been realized thanks to the exceptional efforts of all staff involved. Shortly after signing the contract, the first component of the turbine was already on the boat to South Africa. Almost 100 days later, the turbine has already produced green energy. To my knowledge, this is an absolute record! If the Danes are equally effective at the football, Electrawinds knows already who will be the new world champion!"