20 Mar 20 News Projects South Africa

Kangnas turbines all in place after schedule-beating lift operation

Almost 90% of the Kangnas site lifting crew are South African, with many from local Northern Cape communities

The last of 61 wind turbines have been lifted into place at a Mainstream project site in South Africa, just 21 months after the beginning of construction work.

The final nacelle and blades were installed at Kangnas Wind Farm on March 17 – St Patrick’s Day – two weeks ahead of schedule and on budget.

The 140 MW wind farm will enter testing phase once its two power transformers have been energised

Most of the 45-member crew involved in the large-scale lifting programme, which began in July 2019, had special reason to celebrate the latest milestone.

Construction Project Manager Manie Kotze told how their local Northern Cape communities will have a new source of clean electricity when the wind farm enters commercial operations later this year.

He said: "Eighty seven percent of the lifting team are South African, with just six being ex-pats. They began erecting the first turbines in July last year, and worked very hard to take advantage of the periods of low wind to install all 61 in just eight months and ahead of schedule."

Explaining the next stage, Kotze added: "Once the two power transformers are installed and energised, commissioning and testing will commence on the wind turbines, followed by GRID Code compliance testing."

When operational, Kangnas Wind Farm will have the capacity to generate 563,500 MWh of renewable power for South Africa’s grid each year, equivalent to the annual energy needs of 120,000 homes.

The 140MW facility, which has been developed and constructed by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power, will also help the country reduce its greenhouse carbon emissions, eliminating approximately 550,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.