Loeriesfontein 2 is situated in the Hantam Municipality of South Africa’s Northern Cape and was contracted under the third round of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The plant comprises of 61 of the same Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines (as used at the Noupoort and Khobab wind farms) with a total output of 140 megawatts.
The site is adjacent to Lekela’s Khobab wind farm and was chosen because of its excellent wind resource, the straightforward electrical connection into Eskom’s Helios substation approximately 11km south of the site, low environmental impact and the positive support from the municipality and local community.
The Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm generates approximately 563,500 MWh of clean energy each year; enough to power around 120,000 South African homes. The wind farm offsets around 550,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
Like all Lekela’s projects the wind farm actively participates in the local community. This includes providing job opportunities, sourcing from the local economy and investing in community projects. It is anticipated that over the life of the wind farm over ZAR398m will be invested in community led socio-economic and economic development projects in the local area. Investments already carried out in the community, jointly with the Khobab wind farm, include implementation of a local childhood development programme and the creation of opportunities for economic development through the provision of 24 scholarships for community.
In addition, the local community benefit 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 the funds it receives from this investment to service these initial loans and to fund projects that will benefit the local community.
The project started its construction phase on 14th February 2015 and successfully achieved commercial operations on 8th December 2017. The wind farm maintained an exemplary health and safety record throughout its construction phase and will continue to focus on safely delivering clean, reliable and competitively priced electricity for the next 20 years.
For more information about the Loeriesfontein 2 wind farm, visit loeriesfonteinwind.co.za.