The transportation of both Kangnas Wind Farm and Perdekraal East Wind Farm’s turbine tower sections have commenced, making their way from the West Coast’s Port of Saldanha and Atlantis.
These two giant projects will be connected to the country’s national grid by August 2020, forming part of the government’s Renewable Energy Industry Power Producer Procurement Programmes (REI4Ps) Bid Window 4, both of which incorporate significant levels of locally manufactured components.
The first tower sections departed from Atlantis, West Coast of Cape Town on 20 May 2019, with blades, nacelles and other components travelling from the Port of Saldanha.
It is expected that all 1,090 turbine components, weighing in collectively at an impressive 56,000 tonnes, will have reached their respective sites of Springbok, in the Northern Cape and the Witzenberg Municipality, in the Western Cape, before end January 2020.
“This is a considerable undertaking as we will have more than 1,000 abnormal loads traversing the country, between now and January next year,” explained Christo Loots, construction programme manager for Kangnas Wind Farm and Perdekraal East Wind Farm.
The growth of wind farms
These two projects, both of which boast very high local content percentages, will additionally bring in substantial community investment over 20 years once they start operating in 2020 and generate a combined 932,3GWh/year of clean, renewable power into the grid. This is equivalent to the energy needs of 215,000 homes each year.
There are 33 wind farms at various stages of development throughout South Africa, including these two giant projects.
The country has more than 1,365 wind turbines generators equalling 3,672MW installed capacity of which 2,020MW is fully operational.
The wind sector has invested R80.6 billion in South Africa and is helping to drive local manufacturing industries, which provide thousands of home-grown jobs.
One such manufacturer, GRI, located in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for Green Technologies, is producing the massive turbine tower sections for Kangnas Wind Farm and Perdekraal East Wind Farm.
GRI is 25% owned by local Black shareholders, whilst their 250 or so employees have benefited from skills transfer, some seeing training and experience abroad, and bringing their skills back to South Africa to ramp up to full operations again.
According to Green Cape, the SEZ has already attracted R680 million in green technology investments and has created over 300 jobs.
It is expected that the zone will attract a further R3.7 billion of investment by renewable energy and other manufacturers, and nearly 3,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2030 if these investments are realised.
Perdekraal East Wind Farm is situated in the Witzenberg Local Municipality, in the Western Cape. Approximately 80 km North-West of the Ceres (town) and 198.26 km north east of the Port of Saldanha.
Kangnas Wind Farm is situated in the Nama Khoi Municipal area, in the Northern Cape. This Province is the recipient of the majority of IPP’s from the latest bid window, green lighted almost a year ago.