The Khobab Wind Farm was contracted under the South African Government’s Round 3 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The site is adjacent to Lekela’s Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm (also currently under construction) and was chosen because of its strong wind resource and excellent backing from the local community and municipality.
Like Loeriesfontein 2, the wind farm will comprise of 61 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines with a total output of 140 megawatts. Siemens will also be employed under a long-term service arrangement to ensure the project achieves world class levels of operational performance.
Each turbine reaches an overall height of 152m at its tip and has 3 blades each 53m long made from fibreglass reinforced epoxy.
The towers used at the site have been manufactured in Atlantis (in the Western Cape of South Africa) in three sections, each requiring a 1000km, four day, journey to site. Transporting such large components to site required careful and complex logistics to minimise the disruption and ensure the safety of other road users.
The Khobab wind farm will provide approximately 563,500 MWh each year of clean, economic and renewable energy to the national grid – enough power around 120,000 average South African households. The wind farm will avoid approximately 550,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
The project is nearing the end of its construction phase and has maintained an exceptional health and safety record during its construction activities. The project is on track to successfully achieving its scheduled commercial operations date in December 2017.
The wind farm is active in the community and at the peak of construction activities it employed 450 workers from the local community.
It is anticipated that over the life of the wind farm over ZAR 411m will be invested community led socio-economic and economic development projects in the local area. Investments already carried out in the community, jointly with the Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm, include local childhood development programmes and creation of opportunities for economic development through the provision of 24 scholarships for community members to obtain an accredited security officer qualifications.
The local community profit from a 5% shareholding in the wind farm through the Loeriesfontein Community Trust. The trust’s shareholding was initially funded by loans from the Development Bank of South Africa and from the wind farm’s other shareholders. The community trust will use funds received from its investment in the wind farm to service these initial loans and to fund projects that focus on improving the local community.
For more information about the Khobab wind farm, visit khobabwind.co.za/category/news