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Ground Breaking Ceremony Celebrates start of Construction
The Northern Cape is taking the lead in the renewable energy space with the majority of the country’s independent renewable energy power projects being located in the province. Not only is this area remarkable in terms of its abundant supply of sun, but thanks to its wind resource, has the second highest volume of wind farms in the country. Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm, celebrated the start of construction on 8th September 2015, with a Ground Breaking ceremony attended by guests representing the local municipality. “We are thrilled to be adding over 560 000 megawatt hours of clean, renewable energy each year to the country’s national grid and avoiding an estimated 550 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year, when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants, ” said Leo Quinn, Project Manager of Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
The wind farm, situated within the Hantam Municipality, will comprise 61 wind turbines with an output of 140MW. The wind farm will power around 120 000 average South African households, and will furthermore positively impact the country’s economy and its people.
According to Premier of the Northern Cape, Sylvia Lucas, “We are excited and optimistic about the prospects of renewable energy and we have always supported developments in this sector. The development of the Provincial Renewable Energy Strategy is a manifestation of the fast growing renewable energy and green economy sector in the province. We are well on our way to becoming a net producer of renewable energy to the rest of the country by 2020. Renewable energy is expected to unlock existing potential and to position the province to attract both local and foreign investment and create much needed jobs.”
The site, spanning a total of 3 453 hectares, was chosen for its excellent wind resource, favourable construction conditions and straightforward electrical connection into Eskom’s Helios substation. The wind turbines will be supplied by world-leading manufacturer Siemens Wind Power, with the blades, hubs and nacelles that compose them arriving from overseas at a nearby port and being transported by road to Loeriesfontein. The 99m turbine towers are to be manufactured at the new Gestamp Wind Turbine Tower Factory in Atlantis in the Western Cape and routed from there via the N7 North. Civil and electrical works are to be completed by a consortium comprised of Murray and Roberts Construction and Consolidated Power Projects.
Loeriesfontein Wind Farm is part of the South African Government’s Round 3 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and will be managed both in terms of construction and operations by Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa. In addition to this, Mainstream is currently constructing an additional two wind farms in the Northern Cape Province, namely Khobab Wind Farm, situated adjacent to Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm; and Noupoort Wind Farm.
The Loeriesfontein Wind Farm’s construction will be led by Project Manager, Leo Quin, who was previously the Project Manager, during construction of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape.
Loeriesfontein is owned by a consortium led by Lekela Power, which is dedicated to providing clean, renewable energy to the people of South Africa. Lekela Power is a joint venture between Actis, the global pan-emerging market private equity firm, and Mainstream Renewable Power, the global wind and solar company. Lekela Power is a pan-African renewable energy platform that aims to provide 1,000MW of wind and solar power by 2018.
Other members include Thebe Investment Corporation; The IDEAS Managed Fund; Futuregrowth Asset Management; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital; and the Loeriesfontein Community Trusts. The Trusts were established with the objective of carrying out public benefit activities to assist the local community through economic development.
The Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, is valued at approximately ZAR3.5Billion, and is expected to be operational by December 2017.