Tech firms back SA’s R3.5-bn wind farm
The R3.5 billion Loeriesfontein wind farm project in South Africa has completed the lifting of the first of 61 wind turbines. The operation has been described as a pivotal point in the construction of the wind farm which is projected to generate up to 563,500 MWh of clean renewable energy per year – enough power supply for 120 000 South African homes.
Leo Quinn, Project Manager of Loeriesfontein wind farm says lifting one of the turbines which is done by Siemens Wind Power, along with their sub-contractors, Fairwind and BMS is a complicated exercise that can take longer than a full day on occasion.
“The process of constructing the turbines requires two cranes to work simultaneously; the lifting of the massive 108 meter diameter rotor requires great skill and is a really impressive manoeuvre to watch. We are pleased to be working with an experienced crew, who fairly recently managed the lifting for Noupoort wind farm and will later move onto our sister wind farm,”
Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO of Siemens Sub-Saharan and East Africa says wind turbines from Siemens – which plays a key role in the construction of Loeriesfontein wind farm – contribute around 600MW of clean energy to South Africa’s National Energy Grid.
“This figure is rising as more and more projects that Siemens is involved in come online. Wind power is coming of age in Africa and is fast becoming directly competitive with traditional energy sources. Now is the time for Africa to utilise these innovations. SA has achieved this with its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the world’s fastest growing renewables initiative. In just five years, 92 independent power producers have secured contracts in SA with a combined nameplate capacity of 6,327 MW.”
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