27 Nov 19 News Projects South Africa

Western Cape wind farm ‘on home run’ to 2020 operations date

Almost 40% of Perdekraal East's 48 turbines have now been erected, with the last due to be lifted next April

Construction of our Perdekraal East Wind Farm is progressing to schedule, with the 110 MW project on course to start feeding South Africa’s grid next summer.

Some 16 months after siteworks outside Ceres, in the Western Cape, began in July 2018, almost 40% of its 48 turbines are already standing, the main power transformer is now installed at its Distribution Substation and all civil works have been completed.

The final construction stretch will start in mid-January after a month-long break, with the last of the 480 wind turbine components making the journey from Atlantis and Saldahna on the West Coast in early February, and the final turbines expected to be installed by early April.

Construction of the Kappa transmission substation is being undertaken as a self-build project

Construction Project Manager Glenn Hobson told how he is looking forward to an exciting six months to deliver the wind farm on time and on budget.

He said: “Our Commercial Operations Date is confirmed for end-July 2020, so we are on the home run, from the time our site re-opens on January 13.

“In addition to receiving the last components on site and the 48th turbine lifting, we will have completed the extension of the existing 400kV yard and construction of a new 132kV yard at the main transmission substation, Kappa, which we will be undertaking ourselves, as opposed to Eskom.”

Hobson is expecting that the installation of a 500MVA power transformer in April will open the way for the plant to be energised by April 26.

He added: “Our construction team chose to construct, test and commission the works under a self-build agreement, based on the need for a compressed construction schedule and full control of all contractors, in order to minimise the timeframes and ensure that the project can achieve commercial operations on schedule.”

Once operational, Perdekraal East Wind Farm, owned by our Africa Joint Venture, Lekela Power, and located in the Witzenberg Local Municipality, will be the Western Cape’s largest wind farm commissioned under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Purchase Programme’s fourth bidding window.

It will generate around 183,000 MWh of clean renewable energy per year - powering up to 95,000 South African homes and eliminating approximately 410,000 tonnes of annual carbon emissions compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.