NamPower source N$1b for wind power plants in Namibia

NamPower plans to construct two wind energy plants worth N$1 billion in the Tsau //Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) National Park in order to boost Namibia’s local power generation capacity. 

As mandated to ensure power supply in the country, NamPower currently has an installed capacity of about 489.3 megawatts and imports over 60 percent of its needs to augment the local generation deficit.
The company revealed it will finance the project through independent power producers (IPPs), which are to come on board very soon.

Principal engineer Ernst Krige revealed this on Thursday when he briefed the Minister of Environment and Tourism Pohamba Shifeta, who was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Mines and Energy Kornelia Shilunga to witness the project’s infrastructure inauguration and launch of the national policy on mining and prospecting in protected areas.

The event also saw the launch of the Namib horses’ management plan at Lüderitz, in order to preserve and save the extinct threatened wild horses.

Krige said NamPower has two project sites around the protected Elizabeth mine near Lüderitz.
He revealed the first step is to install a meteorological or wind mast to collect wind measurement over a period of 12 months.

According to him, the two projects will be owned and operated by NamPower.
He said they plan to erect 16 turbines to produce 40 megawatts of renewable energy into the national grid.
Lüderitz has strong wind currents, and the town council also uses wind turbines to produce electricity to supplement power supply for its residents.

Further, he explained the other site will be a 50 megawatts, which will go out on entry for IPPs, for the private sector to play a role in addressing the future electricity needs of the country.
 “After the 12 months of data collection and formal bidding of specifications into the market, the project can commence. There are studies ongoing on sites,” Krige said.

Equally, he said in terms of site selection, they received good information from the environment ministry on zoning map and assisted with environmental impact assessments since the park is rich in fauna and flora.
Shifeta welcomed the project, saying the area can be used for wind energy generation due to the strong wind in the park.

“You can generate more power from here and supply to the rest of Namibia. We want to make sure we use more renewable energy in the future. This area is very rich in natural resources. 

We have a very sensitive biodiversity here. That’s why there are restrictions on companies that are going to operate here. They can’t just go anywhere. 

We want to protect the biodiversity because once it’s gone, it’s gone,” Shifeta cautioned.

Albertina Nakale,