Arrival of the first blades for Cookhouse wind farm
The first consignment of 16 turbines from Suzlon's plant in India, destined for Cookhouse Wind Farm, began to arrive at the deepwater port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape early last month. Presently, Ngqura is the only port suitable for receiving wind turbine blades which, in the case of Cookhouse, are 44 meters in length. Other components, including tower sections, gears and generators will arrive during the coming months as the construction on the wind farm site progresses. Major works have already begun with some of the wind turbine foundations having been excavated.
The Cookhouse Wind Farm, developed under the First Round of the REIPPPP, the South African governmentâs flagship uitility scale renewable energy programme, is located between Cookhouse and Bedford in the Eastern Cape. Construction on the first phase commenced in early February this year, and the wind farm, consisting of 66 Suzlon 2.1 MW turbines with an installed capacity of 138.6 MW, is expected to be synchronised with the Eskom grid by the second quarter of 2014.
The project is being developed by ACED (African Clean Energy Developments) and is owned by a consortium of African infrastructure investors including Apollo and African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 (AIIF2), both advised by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a joint venture between Old Mutual Investment Group SA (OMIGSA) and Macquarie Group of Australia); The Infrastructure, Developmental and Environmental Assets Managed Fund (IDEAS), managed by OMIGSA; AFPOC and the local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford, Somerset East and Adelaide through their ownership in the Cookhouse Wind Farm Community Trust. The project is financed by Standard Bank of South Africa, Nedbank and Futuregrowth Asset Management. The main contractor is Suzlon Wind Energy South Africa, a subsidiary of the Suzlon Group, the 5th largest turbine supplier in the world.
The Cookhouse project was developed in close partnership with, and has had significant support from, the local municipalities and communities. These organisations have played a key role in assisting the development of the project and ensuring that it is delivered in a manner that works for the benefit of the surrounding community. A Community Liaison Office has been established in Cookhouse to serve as an interface between the project and the local communities. The local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford, Somerset East and Adelaide will all benefit from the project, while social and economic development will be driven by local job creation, significant local sourcing and community ownership. Before construction commenced, âsearch and rescueâ of protected plants took place ahead of the road construction teams. These plants are held in nursery and are then replanted outside of the development footprint.
Photo credits: Cookhouse Wind Farm
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Some Interesting Facts and Figures About Cookhouse Wind Farm:
Project Area: 35km2
Turbine Type: S88-2.1 MW
Turbine Hub Height: 79 m
Turbine Rotor Diameter: 88 m
Turbine Tip Height: 125m
Number of Turbines: 66
Voltage connection: 132 kV
Internal Roads Distance: 36km
Concrete per turbine: 800 tons
Reinforcing Steel: 1 500 tons
Gravel required: 200 000 tons
Overhead Line Distance: 2.75km
Trucks from port per turbine: 12
Cement truck loads per foundation: 50
Community Liaison Office:
A Community Liaison Office has been established in the town of Cookhouse. This is where any information should be sought or questions asked with regards to the wind farm development. It is located next to the Caltex Service Station and is open from Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and on Saturday mornings. Any queries can also be addressed to:
Telephone: +27 42 247 2961
Mobile: +27 76 575 1719