The Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) 140 MW Oyster Bay wind farm, situated in the Kouga municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, has successfully reached commercial operation.
Every year the Oyster Bay wind farm will generate over 568 GWh and prevent 590,000 tons of CO² from being emitted into the atmosphere. This brings the number of operational Enel Green Power RSA wind and solar sites in South Africa up to nine projects, with an overall installed capacity of over 800MW.
These include Nojoli (88MW), Gibson Bay (111MW), and Nxuba (140MW) in the Eastern Cape; Upington (10MW) and Adams (82.5MW) in the Western Cape; Paleisheuwel (82.5MW) in the Western Cape, Pulida (82.5MW) in the Free State and Tom Burke (66MW) in Limpopo.
The commercial operation of Oyster Bay follows closely on the heels of the Nxuba wind farm, which reached commercial operation ahead of schedule in December last year, despite challenges presented by the global pandemic.
William Price, Country Manager at Enel Green Power RSA says the project, which amounts to a 180 million euros investment in South Africa, clearly demonstrates the crucial role the company plays in helping the country solve its energy crises using renewable energy solutions.
“The Oyster Bay wind farm was one of five wind projects awarded to Enel Green Power in April 2015. The solution is supported by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with South African energy utility provider, Eskom, as part of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender,” he explains.
The company’s commitment to sustainability is further demonstrated by its ability to boost local socio-economic development through job creation and education initiatives, chiefly:
- Supplying schools with clean energy through mini-PV systems
- Enhancing education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects by awarding scholarships to local students and employing three full-time teachers
- Supporting school feeding programmes in the Kouga municipality
Enel Green Power RSA used digital platforms as well as innovative software and methods during construction to:
- Monitor and support site activities, including plant commissioning
- Control the quality of on-site operations using devices such as smart glasses that allow instant feedback and suggestions on Health, Safety, Environmental, and Quality (HSEQ) activities on-site
- Smart-track wind turbine components, including safety systems
- Provide faster, more accurate, reliable data collection for quality enhancements to the construction
- Improve communication between on-site and off-site teams
Rigorous safety protocols were implemented, in light of the pandemic and in line with the indications provided by health authorities, with the aim of ensuring the necessary protection of the workers involved in the construction as well as to the communities surrounding the Oyster Bay wind farm.