Noupoort Wind Farm successfully reached commercial operations on schedule and on budget in July 2016, making it the first wind farm to successfully achieve operations as part of the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
Situated in the Umsobomvu Municipal Area located 10km east of Noupoort in the Northern Cape the wind spans an area of around 7,500 hectares.
The wind farm consists of 35 Siemens 2.3 megawatt wind turbines each with a hub height of 99.5m and three blades each 53m long. The turbines reach to an overall tip height of 152m allowing the wind farm to capture the excellent winds in the area. The heaviest component used in each turbine is the nacelle, which contains the generator and gearbox; and weighs 82.5 tonnes.
The Noupoort wind farm generates around 304,800MWh of clean renewable energy per year; supplying electricity to as many as 69,000 South African homes. The wind farm will offset around 300,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
The wind farm works actively with the local community to design and invest in meaningful socio-economic and economic development projects in the local area. It is anticipated that over the life of the wind farm over ZAR 170m will be invested locally in such projects.
The wind farm has already made a significant impact in the region including implementation of a 6-month development programme to stimulate new local enterprises and an extensive upgrade of the math and science laboratory at the Enoch Mthetho High School in Noupoort.
In addition, the local community benefit from a 5% shareholding in the wind farm through the Noupoort 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 local social infrastructure.
For more information about the Noupoort wind farm, visit noupoortwind.co.za.