Nabrawind has installed the tallest wind turbine in Africa in a wind farm developed by the French company Innovent in Morocco. The assembly of the wind turbine was completed with a spectacular maneuver carried out by the innovative Automated System developed by the Spanish company, which allows the installation of wind turbines with a hub height of up to 200 meters without the need to use assembly cranes. This fact represents a milestone both for wind energy in Africa and for Nabrawind, which consolidates the market entry of its Nabralift 2.0 tower model.
Specifically, during the installation of the wind turbine, the Nabrawind Automated System raised the 700-ton turbine in several phases in strong wind conditions, with gusts of up to 15 m/s. In this way, the Authorization System confirmed its ability to minimize delays in projects caused by strong winds.
In this sense, the installation of the tallest wind turbine in Africa has confirmed the key advantages of this innovative technology. In the first place, it makes it possible to reduce the consumption of raw materials, especially steel and concrete, both in the manufacture of the tower and in the foundation. Secondly, thanks to the Automated System, large assembly cranes are dispensed with. Finally, Nabralift logistics allows solving the logistical complications of large towers while reducing its environmental footprint.
On the other hand, this project consolidates the good understanding and partnership between Nabrawind and InnoVent, which are already exploring new projects in the short-medium term not only in Morocco, but also in other countries such as France or Namibia. Both companies already collaborated in 2021 to validate Nabrawind’s crane-free blade installation system (BladeRunner) on a turbine owned by Innovent at a wind farm in Bignan (France).
In this regard, Gregoire Verhaeghe, CEO of Innovent, declares that he had been “for years trying to reduce the consumption of concrete and steel necessary for the installation of InnoVent wind turbines”. For this reason, “I decided to invest in the Nabrawind solution. It reduces the amount of concrete by eight and the amount of steel required by towers of this size by two. I am proud that Innovent is the first client of this promising company and I can no longer imagine developing wind farms without this technology.”
For his part, Ion Arocena, Program Manager at Nabralift, states that “this installation, together with the tower designs certified by DNV for hub heights in the range of 140 to 190 meters, confirms that our tower solution is prepared to face the challenges of cost, logistics and installation of the new generation of XXL turbines».
Reduced environmental impact
Thanks to the extra height provided by the Nabralift tower, the wind turbine installed in Morocco will produce an extra 2,500 MW/h per year -equivalent to the consumption of 2,000 people in Morocco-, thus helping to reduce the use of coal (the main energy source in Morocco) and saving, consequently, the emission of 2,500 tons of CO2 per year.
In this sense, Arantxa Esparza, Project Manager of this project, highlights that “we are very proud of Nabralift’s low environmental footprint. The installation of this wind turbine has reduced the CO2 footprint by 70% when compared to other towers capable of reaching this same hub height. This is mainly due to the innovative piloted foundation implemented in the project, which only required 80m3 of concrete and 10 tons of steel; unlike the 500 m3 of concrete and 60 tons of steel that a standard gravitational foundation would have needed.”
Finally, the Automated System, manufactured and operated by Navassy (a joint venture formed by Nabrawind itself, Tetrace and Comansa) not only avoids the use of large cranes, but also simplifies logistics, reducing the number of trucks by 60% in compared to the logistics of a standard crawler crane.
InnoVent is an independent French renewable energy development company operating in France and Africa, founded in 2001. Thanks to its 90-strong team, InnoVent masters the entire development chain, from preliminary studies to operations and maintenance, to for financing. InnoVent achieved consolidated revenues of €55 million in 2020.
To date, InnoVent has installed 48 wind farms in France, that is 173 wind turbines, mainly located in the north of France, Brittany and Normandy.
For 10 years, InnoVent has expanded its activity in Africa, where the company is present in fifteen countries (Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Benin, Kenya, etc.), including Morocco.