Wind energy in South Africa: Jeffreys Bay wind farm

On the 22nd of July 2013 began transport of wind tubines from the port of Ngqura to the Jeffreys Bay wind farm. This marks a milestone in the construction of one the largest wind farms in South Africa’s renewable energy integrated power producer programme (REIPPP) to date.

The first shipments of components will be transported from the Port of Ngqura to the site, situated between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp. Once on site the components will be offloaded beside the wind turbine foundation. Two cranes will be used to erect the turbines and it is estimated that two wind turbines will be erected each week. Final commissioning of the turbines will take place following connection of the electrical works.
“Our team is committed to making every effort to minimise traffic disruptions during this period,” Mark Pickering, general manager of Jeffreys Bay wind farm, says. Trucks with oversized trailers will vary in size, of up to 50 m in length, and began transporting wind turbine components from the Port of Ngqura to Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm during the early morning of Tuesday 22 July. From then until the 31 January 2014, regular deliveries will be made, Mondays to Fridays, throughout the day. Due to regulations, deliveries will not be made over weekends or on public holidays, or at night.

“There may be exceptional circumstances, where prior notification will be given to transport over a weekend,” Pickering explains. Transport schedules are available via the wind farm’s website,
All loads will travel to site as single consignments, except through Port Elizabeth where there will be a police escort for the larger components that will travel together to reduce disruption in the city.
“Due to the length of the transportation vehicles, we urge other road users not overtake, unless in a passing lane or dual carriageway,” Pickering says. In preparation for the turbine transportation programme, the construction team has already made modifications to the N2 highway to accommodate the large turning radius of the abnormal loads.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will comprise 60 turbines on a site spanning 3,700 ha. The site was chosen for its optimal wind conditions and minimal environmental constraints, as well as its close proximity to a 132 kV Eskom grid line. The wind farm is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by mid-2014. “Not only will the project be able to provide a significant number of homes with clean, renewable energy by harnessing a free source of energy, it will also save millions of litres of water that would otherwise have been consumed in the production of energy,” Pickering concludes.