Wind power in South Africa, Kangnas Wind Farm kicks off operations

Two years after construction kicked-off, Kangnas Wind Farm achieved commercial operations on 15 November 2020, making it the first bid window four wind farm, in the Northern Cape, to come on stream as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

According to a media release, this wind farm will generate enough clean power to satisfy the needs of 154,625 average South African households, as it is expected to generate over 513GWh of renewable energy each year, during its 20-year operations period.

Constructed by a South African team, mostly from the local Nama Khoi Municipal area, this mega 140MW wind project comprises sixty-one wind turbines, and is one of 12 wind farms in this part of the REIPPP procurement bid round.

“These projects will collectively add 1.3GW of new wind power capacity, onto the country’s national grid, at a time when South Africa needs more available energy to support the rebuilding of the country in a post-COVID era,” said Manie Kotzé, the construction project manager of Kangnas Wind Farm. 

Following industry trends, as set up by the Department of Energy’s local content requirements, the wind farm achieved very high local content levels, exceeding 45%. 

This includes both locally manufactured turbine towers as well as the project’s mega transformer, helping to drive the demand for local manufacturers to offer items previously only available through import.

Communities of Nababeep, Springbok, Concordia, Matjieskloof, Bergsig, Okiep and Carolusberg are the direct beneficiaries of developmental programmes, designed to create social resilience and local capacity.  The wind farm has already been active during the construction period, and will continue to benefit these communities throughout the operations period, the release stated.

o date, community scholarships have been awarded; welfare and COVID-19 relief project funded; Early Childhood Development support provided; and enterprise development programmes implemented.

Kangnas Wind Farm, most recently, provided support to the local healthcare centre in Springbok through the provision of oxygen machines and other equipment to assist with COVID-19 relief as well as after the pandemic.

“As we enter this new phase, we are pleased to note that a number of our impactful development programmes are already in place, all of which drive socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives, in support of local communities,” added Christo Loots, the construction programme manager for Kangnas Wind Farm.