- eThekweni Energy Office, 27 November 2013Read more
EThekwini Municipality is leading the green revolution in Durban by launching the Durban Solar City Program. This program has been launched with an exciting study into current and potential future investment in Solar PV in the city. The findings of the study showed that solar Photo Voltaic (PV) is indeed a green technology with a future.
The study was carried out on behalf of the eThekwini Municipality by independent consultants, Camco Clean Energy and EA Energy EAB Astrum Energy (Pty) Ltd. Despite cost being a large barrier to investment in Solar, the study found that 30% of large industries within the eThekwini area are considering investing in solar PV within the next year. The reasons cited for this potential investment were financial savings and care for the environment.
Ten out of the thirty largest industries in eThekwini were interviewed telephonically to ascertain their views on Solar PV and green technologies. While the majority of these industries had not yet invested in Solar PV, with the price of these technologies decreasing in recent years, this may be set to change. Derek Morgan, Senior Manager of the Energy Office said "there is a lot of potential for job creation and economic development opportunities in the solar sector. But we need to manage this transition in a way that doesn't impact the stability of the electricity grid". The study also ascertained that cost remains the largest barrier to investment in solar PV for large industry as well as the business and residential sectors. The residential sector also provided interesting results with 6.7% of those who completed the survey having already invested in solar PV and a further 34.5% saying they would consider it within the next year. Approximately a third of the business sector also stated that they would consider investment within the next year.
With the popularity of green technologies on the increase and barriers such as cost and perceptions around the complexity and reliability of the technologies on the decrease, solar PV is forging a place for itself within the energy market.
This is particularly relevant in the face of growing environmental concerns and electricity tariff increases, consumers are starting to look around for a viable alternative to conventional power. Solar PV is fast becoming a more accepted and affordable option for many consumers. "eThekwini Municipality has approved several connection of roof-top PV installations", said Dr Susanna Godehart , International Transactional Officer of the Energy Office "and it is expected that the cost of PV will reach grid parity in around five years" said Godehart.
Having successfully hosted COP17 in Durban in 2011, the Durban Solar City program signifies eThekwini Municipality's commitment towards a low carbon Durban of the future.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 27 November 2013Read more
As the country embarks on the development of a renewable energy industry, the management team at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm believes that the primary focus of skills development should be the development of a workforce that can sustain the industry over time without long term reliance on off shore expertise.
Hence a competent workforce is being developed to meet the skills requirements of the renewable energy industry on a provincial and national level. "Job creation cannot be seen in isolation and as such we regard skills development as an essential component for Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
In addition to employing 80% South African's on site, the project is focused on the local communities, ensuring that the employment and development benefits are kept within a 50km radius, wherever possible. Eden Syce, resident of the local Pullrus community in Jeffreys Bay, is one of many community members who has benefited through training and skills development, which is a critical area in the Renewable Energy industry.
Originally employed as a general worker, Syce is now employed as a Quality Assistant and can pride himself on a number of achievements. Over the last seven months, he has completed and rated highly in a number of courses, including a week's ISO 9001 training in Pretoria, which encompassed the implementation and evaluations of quality systems. Having achieved almost 80% in the exams, his confidence has increased in proportion to his training. "Since I've been working on this project my self-discipline and confidence has improved enormously, as well as my attitude towards life's challenges and handling my responsibilities, both at work and in my personal life," said Eden Syce, Quality Assistant at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm. Other training and competencies have included Health and Safety Representation, First Aid, Fire Fighting, Rigging and Slinging and Scaffold Erection.
Coming from the Pellsrus community, whose income is highly dependent on the fishing industry, Local Municipality and surrounding business, community members like Syce, welcome other opportunities and especially the chance to get training in an industry that has such great potential. "This community is also very dependent on the building, retail and clothing manufacturing sectors, all of which are in a current economic downturn," explained Pickering.
Skills Development Should Sustain Industry Over Time
The Eastern Cape is undoubtedly one of the primary regions that has been able to capitalize on the employment opportunities that this new sector offers, especially during the construction phase of the various wind farm projects, which require large numbers of labour from the local communities. At the peak of construction, there were 602 people working on the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm site, 45% of which were from the local communities in the Kouga Municipality.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm began erecting the first of its 80m tall turbines in August this year. The project is one of the first wind farms arising from the South African Governmentâs Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP) and is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by mid-2014. When complete the project will be able to provide a significant number of homes with clean, renewable energy by harnessing the wind, and will save millions of litres of water that would otherwise have been consumed in the production of energy.
The public is reminded to obtain further information regarding the delivery schedules from the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm website, www.jeffreysbaywind.co.za.
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 27 November 2013Read more
Droogfontein Solar Power will be the first solar plant to supply power to the South African grid in the Kimberley area and one of the first batch of solar projects to export power in South Africa. This is a milestone for the region and will ensure that the project remains on schedule. "Not only are we on track, but we expect to be fully operational prior to the planned Commercial Operation Date in April 2014," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power.
The export of power to the Eskom Grid will begin during the commissioning process, which is scheduled to start on 18 November. The process will be closely monitored by Eskom. Once the commissioning of the plant begins, a small amount of electricity will be exported to the grid to check the equipmentâs reliability. "It's very exciting to think that during this period, the power that is exported to the Eskom grid will be consumed by Eskom customers in the Kimberely area," added Pickering. If no problems are encountered and the reliability is verified, the power from the inverter area will continue to flow to the Eskom grid. Each inverter area produces approximately 2.4 MW peak power. It is anticipated that six of the 19 inverter areas will be commissioned by the end of this year, resulting in approximately 14.4MW of peak power being supplied to Eskom prior to the December- January construction holiday.
There has had to be close coordination between the project team and Eskom to ensure all the relevant experts have been available for the commissioning of the HV substation and the solar power field. "The process will also provide employees further opportunity to gain knowledge and skills related to a renewable energy power plant, from general workers all the way up to the project management team" concluded Pickering.
- Staff Writer, 14 November 2013Read more
The names of the 17 preferred bidders out of a total of 93 submissions in round three of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme were announced earlier this month. This brings the total number of utility-scale renewable energy projects in progress to 64 with many window one projects in advanced stages of construction and a handful already feeding into the grid.
The total megawatt value of bids submitted in window three amounted to 6 023 MW whilst the available allocation for this window was 1 473 MW. The round also saw aggressive price decreases across all the technologies with an average of 74 c/kWh achieved for wind down from 1.14 R/kWh in window one, 99 c/kWh for solar photovoltaic (PV) down from 2.75 R/kWh in window one and 1.64 R/kWh for concentrated solar power (CSP), down from 2.69 R/kWh in window one.
It is noteworthy that the base price for CSP quoted above is payable for 12 hours every day and that 270% of the base price is payable for 5 âpeakâ hours every day. This effectively incentivises the storage benefits of CSP technology (heat is stored in the form of molten salt) whereby electricity can be generated at peak hours in the early morning and evenings when it is most needed.
It is believed that the low prices in some instances were achieved by developers being able to finance a larger proportion of their projects out of equity, thus decreasing the cost of debt. Some commentators cautioned that whilst this is desirable in the short term from a pricing point of view, it does not necessarily contribute to a more broadly based emerging renewable energy industry and effectively curtails the ability of emerging developers to compete.
Window three saw the addition of biomass (16 MW) and landfill gas (18 MW) projects to the REIPPP mix with the provinces of kwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng now boasting their entry into the REIPPP programme. Linear Fresnel CSP technology also makes its debut in the South African context.
Window three project developers will now focus on concluding Power Purchase Agreements, Implementation Agreements and Generation Licenses in order to reach financial close.
REIPPP Megawatts to Date
The REIPPP programme first targeted 3 725MW of renewable energy power to be online by 2015. In December 2012, the DoE announced a further allocation of 3 200MW of renewable energy power to be online by 2020.
Source: DoE presentation MW in window 1 MW in window 2 MW in window 3 MW remaining Solar PV 632 417 435 1 041 Wind 634 563 787 1 336 Concentrated Solar Power 150 50 200 200 Small Hydro (less than 40MW) 0 14 0 121 Landfill Gas 0 0 18 7 Biomass 0 0 16 43 Biogas 0 0 0 60 TOTALS 1 416 1 044 1 456 2 808
Window Three: Preferred Bidders Summary
Source: DoE presentation No of Bids MW by Preferred Bidders Max MW Allocated for Window 3 Solar PV 6 435 401 Wind 7 787 654 Concentrated Solar Power 2 200 200 Small Hydro (less than 40MW) 0 0 121 Landfill Gas 1 18 25 Biomass 1 16 60 Biogas 0 0 12 TOTALS 17 1 456 1 473
Window Three: Job Creation
Source: DoE presentation Jobs During Construction Jobs During Operational Lifespan * Eastern Cape 512 4 908 Free State 414 1 443 Gauteng 6 240 kwaZulu-Natal 96 240 Limpopo 160 1 366 Northern Cape 6 502 8 736 Western Cape 223 1 295 TOTALS 7 915 18 228
* One job = 12 person-months
From the Twittersphere
Wind energy prices bid in South Africa's #REIPPP have fallen 42% over 2 years from R1.14/kWh to 89.7c/kWh to 66c/kWh. Cheaper than coal.— Anton Eberhard (@AntonEberhard) November 5, 2013
Wind energy prices continue to fall in South Africa. In 3 #REIPPP bid rounds prices fall from R1.14/kWh to 89c and lowest bid now 66c/kWh— Anton Eberhard (@AntonEberhard) October 29, 2013
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 14 November 2013[Corporate PR] Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in South Africa, has released its first official turbine erection photographs. The wind farm also launched its new aimed at keeping the public and industry up-to-date. "Our new website, www.jeffreysbaywindfarm.co.za, is user friendly, offering a gallery of visuals, renewable energy information as well as the updated transportation schedules," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.Read more
The Project began erecting the first of its sixty wind turbines in August this year. The wind turbines are 80m tall to allow for optimum energy production, however, when the blades are in position, the turbine's tip height is an impressive 132m. The heaviest component is the nacelle, which contains the generator and gearbox; and weighs 82 tonnes.
The three 49m blades, made from fibreglass reinforced epoxy, are connected to the rotor at ground level before being hoisted to the top of the turbine. This is a complicated lifting exercise, in which the crane raises the assembled rotor whilst the smaller crane and the tag lines guide the rotor into the correct position.
The project is one of the first wind farms arising from the South African Government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP). With demand for electricity continuing to grow in South Africa, the introduction of this clean energy will have far reaching benefits for the countryâs power sector, economy and people.
The wind farm is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by mid-2014. "Not only will the project be able to provide a significant number of homes with clean, renewable energy by harnessing the wind, it will also save millions of litres of water that would otherwise have been consumed in the production of energy," concluded Pickering.
Jeffreys Bay Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd is majority owned by Globeleq, the emerging markets power company, and its consortium partners, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Old Mutual, Thebe Investment Corporation, Jeffreys Bay Community Trust, Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering. Siemens will provide, install and commission the wind turbines and will maintain them for the first ten years of operation. A consortium of Murray & Roberts and Conco are responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction of the balance of plant, including turbine foundations, civil works, the electrical collection network and the main substation. Construction is being managed by Mainstream Construction. The project company is managed by Globeleq.
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 06 November 2013Read more
At a maximum rate of 3 000 solar panels a day, Droogfontein Solar Power is pleased to announce the completion of their module installation. "We are pleased at the speed of panel installations that our crew has achieved," said Kevin Foster, Project Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power. "Reaching a good pace of 0.8 MW installed per day at peak production, Droogfontein is comparable to international projects," added Foster.
Droogfontein Solar Power achieved this construction milestone on 30 September, when the last of the 168 720 modules were installed, a phase that took 5 months to complete. Considering that this is the first round of Independent Power Producers projects in South Africa, and given the size of this project, reaching this milestone is a significant achievement for the site staff.
The construction team will continue its hard work on this project for the next few months to ensure that it remains on track. Having completed the module installation, all the cabling will now need to be connected from the modules to the substation, with the next major milestone being the project's connection to the Eskom grid. "We still expect this project to be completed ahead of our Commercial Operation Date in April 2013," concluded Foster.
- , 16 October 2013Read more
Brand Engineering SA (Pty) Ltd stands at the doorway to a new era in renewable energy generation in South Africa. It is diversifying and expanding its role in the electrical engineering industry, and has been awarded a total of 14 projects in the implementation of solar and wind energy.
Established over 40 years ago, Brand Engineering, together with its two Empowerment Companies, Besamandla (Western Cape) and Besamandla (Eastern Cape), is a leading electrical contractor in Southern Africa and throughout the African continent. Its venture into the renewable energy sector forms part of the Department of Energy's (DoE's) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP).
The company was initially awarded five engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts to carry out electrical and automation installations for photovoltaic (PV) solar energy projects, as well as three separate grid connection projects. These projects, won by Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in the first round of the REIPPP, are situated in the Northern Cape with one in North West Province. Procurement is well underway and implementation has started.
The five projects are:
- 6.8 MW plant at Rustmo 1 (North West)
- 10 MW plant at Konkoonsies (Northern Cape)
- 10 MW plant at Aries (Northern Cape)
- 22 MW plant at Herbert (Northern Cape)
- 11 MW plant at Greefspan (Northern Cape)
Preferred bidders for the second round of the REIPPP were announced last year. In this round Brand Engineering was awarded another two PV contracts at Aurora and Vredendal solar plants in the Western Cape where construction has commenced.
It is in the second round that the company was also appointed to carry out three EPC wind power projects in the Eastern Cape. "Wind power generates energy 24 hours per day, which helps overcome intermittency challenges and improves security of supply," states Kriel. The three wind projects are:
- 62 MW Grassridge wind farm
- 25 MW Waainek wind farm
- 22 MW Chaba wind farm
Another initiative that the company is undertaking to further strengthen its role in the transition to the renewable energy industry in South Africa is that of solar roof top development. "As is the case with renewable energy IPP projects, this leading edge roof top initiative can contribute dramatically to energy savings and green energy generation in South Africa," Kriel explains. The concept is the same as that of the PV solar energy projects, but the panels will be located on roof tops in highly populated commercial locations. Brand Engineering has completed the first solar roof top at Black River Park in Observatory in Cape Town, which is expected to be the biggest roof top development in Southern Africa, and is in the process of concluding contracts for various other rooftop developments. The company is totally committed to renewable energy in South Africa. It is proud to have diversified and expanded, and to be able to contribute significantly to the wide variety of renewable energy initiatives helping to ensure a bright new sustainable energy future.
- , 07 October 2013Read more
Pietermaritzburg is leading the way with Africaâs first 1MW rooftop grid-tied solar plant. Awareness and concern for climate change is growing, and with an increase in electricity costs of 200% in the last five years, businesses are increasingly looking to implement more environmentally friendly, sustainable and cost effective energy solutions.
One such company is Belgotex Floorcoverings (Pty) Ltd who has invested in the expertise of Sustainable Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd to transform one of their roofs into Africa's largest industrial grid-tied solar plant.
Recognizing the trend of ever increasing electricity prices, Belgotex made the decision to build a 1MW solar plant on the 100 000m² roof of their manufacturing facility at a cost of R17 million as part of their strategy to offset 5% of their carbon emissions. Power Solutions installed the solar plant in two and a half months, and the system will be ready for implementation by early November 2013.
How it works
The system is built on the north-facing roof of the facility at an angle of 15 degrees resulting in a yield of 1415 MWh per annum. The entire installation comprises 4080 poly crystalline modules each rated at 245 Watt peak. The solar modules are tied to 64 Danfoss three-phase grid inverters and the output of the grid inverters is integrated into Belgotex's electricity system at 11000 Volts. The integrated web server function in the inverter compiles data on the status of the solar plant which is fed to a web portal, and can be easily accessed by Belgotex and the operations and maintenance team.
The energy generated daily is estimated to power 200 average households and avoids carbon emissions of 1 386 tons each year from not having to rely on coal produced electricity. Sustainable Power Solutions MD, Axel Scholle says, "The interest of commercial and industrial clients in solar power generation is what will make solar power sustainable in South Africa and will ultimately lead to a change in how the electricity sector in South Africa will operate to incorporate the increasing contribution of intermittent renewable energy generation."
Sustainable Power Solutions boasts a highly qualified and dynamic team of engineers and professionals with over 30 years local and international experience in the renewable energy sector. The optimised engineering design, the use of high quality components and consistent service offer as demonstrated in previous projects such as Dube TradePort (700kWp), Glaxo Smith Kline (80kWp) and Impahla Clothing (30kWp) bear reference to this. For more information about Sustainable Power Solutions contact 021 851 6308 or visit Power Solutions (Pty) Ltd.
- Khi Solar One, 27 August 2013Read more
Abengoa, together with project partners Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Khi Community Trust, welcomed representatives from the government of South Africa to celebrate the completion of the construction of the Khi Solar One tower. This achievement marks an important milestone in the execution of this project, a significant development for CSP tower technology itself, as well as a strong positive impact on the community hand the country.
A delegation, including members of the South African Government visited the 205 meter tall tower of Khi Solar One in the Northern Cape Province near Upington, where the national flag was raised next to those of the project partners. Representatives of IDC, a major South African industrial development institution, Abengoa and the Khi Community Trust, an institution that represents the local community, accompanied the guests on a tour through the installation and some of the suppliersâ facilities.
Khi Solar One, a 50 MW superheated steam solar tower with two hours of thermal storage, represents an important technological advance in tower efficiency by using higher temperatures and an innovative dry cooling system. This advancement is the result of the R & D work done by Abengoa in its research centers and pilot plants.
Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One, Abengoaâs 100 MW parabolic trough plant also in construction in the Northern Cape, will be the first concentrating solar power plants in operation in South Africa. The South Africa Department of Energy intends to bring 17,800 MW online from renewable sources by 2030, framing South Africaâs strategy for energy independence. The solar projects form a part of this strategy, as well as have additional environmental benefits: creating roughly 1400 local construction jobs on average per annum, peaking near 2000, and about 70 permanent operation jobs, as well as reducing the countryâs carbon dioxide emissions by about 498,000 tons each year.
It is also important to highlight the social value impact of these projects. For example, Khi Community Trust, the share owning entity representing members of the local community, provides assistance and training to improve skills and knowledge in areas such as entrepreneurship, leadership, education, and infrastructure, and promotes the general personal development of the members of the communities.
Abengoa designs, constructs and operates its own plants, and is one of the few companies that uses both parabolic trough and tower technology. It currently has 21 plants in operation with a total installed capacity of 843 MW, as well as 810 MW under construction worldwide.
- Coega Industrial Development Zone, 27 August 2013Read more
The Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) which houses the deepwater port of Ngqura and the Coega Development Corporation just north of the city of Port Elizabeth has become a hotbed of activity lately as a number of wind farms in the Eastern Cape reach the stage where the erection of the wind turbines is starting to take place.
Ngqura is one of two ports in South Africa that is suitable for receiving wind turbine components due to their large size. The other is the Port of Saldanha on the west coast which is currently servicing wind farm development in the Western and Northern Cape.
Wind farms in the Eastern Cape which are currently transporting components sourced from India, China and Germany include Metrowind van Stadens just south of Port Elizabeth, Mainstream's Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, African Clean Energy Developments/Suzlon's wind farm near Cookhouse and the Dorper Wind Farm near Molteno. Red Cap's Kouga Wind Farm near Oyster Bay will begin transporting components in early 2014.
All of these wind farm projects are part of the first bidding window of the Department of Energyâs (DoE) much acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). Window two wind projects are currently in the initial phases of construction which are to do with civil engineering, service roads and other balance of plant infrastructure. The deadline for submissions for renewable energy projects for window three of the REIPPP has just closed with 93 bids submitted by independent power producers. As with the previous two windows, bids will be assessed against a number of socio-economic and developmental criteria.
As South Africa attempts to capitalise on employment opportunities afforded by the green economy, the renewables sector is seen as a key driver towards achieving its green growth aspirations. As such, localisation is a non-negotiable in the country's renewable energy rollout, with increasingly stringent local content levels being required by the South African government and the Coega IDZ is well placed in this regard. Earlier in May this year, a newly-established local subsidiary of an international manufacturing and engineering company, DCD, officially started construction work on its R300-million tower factory at the Coega IDZ with a view to supplying towers for future phases of the country's wind energy rollout. Whilst the local market does not yet warrant a full scale wind turbine blade manufacturing facility, it is hoped that further determinations for wind energy from the DoE will send the right signals for manufacturers to invest locally.
The wind turbine components arriving in Ngqura consist of tower sections, nacelles (which house the generating components), hubs and blades. The turbines for this batch of projects have a capacity of between 2.1 MW and 3 MW. A single tower section of some of the bigger models can weigh up to 100 tonnes with blades of 55 metres in length.
The current basket of renewable energy investors at the Coega IDZ includes Electrawinds, Universal Wind, Innowind, EAB Astrum and PhytoEnergy and the zone is uniquely geared to offer solutions for investing in renewable energy, particularly in the wind, photovoltaic and bioenergy sectors. There is little doubt that the Coega IDZ will play an increasingly important role in the countryâs transition to a more sustainable energy future for some time to come.
Wind farm logistics - pictures of the deepwater port of Ngqura's lay-down facility and turbine component transport
(Photo credits: Coega Development Corporation)
- Bokpoort CSP Project, 03 August 2013Read more
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia August 2, 2013/-- A consortium led by ACWA Power International (ACWA Power) (www.acwapower.com), the leading Saudi electricity and desalinated water producer, and including the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) of South Africa (representing the Government Employees Pension Fund), Lereko Solafrica Investment, Lereko Metier Solafrica Fund 1, Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital Fund, Kurisani Solafrica Investments (representing the National NGO Lovelife) and Solafrica Community Investment Company confirmed the completion of financing and commencement of construction of the Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Independent Power Project (IPP) located in Northern Cape Province, 600 km south of Johannesburg, in the Republic of South Africa.
Forming part of South Africa's Renewable Energy IPP procurement program (REIPP), the 50MWe installed capacity Bokpoort CSP Project is being equipped with the largest thermal storage ever adopted for a solar power plant of this class and capacity to date. The plant thermal storage capacity will be 9.3 hours enabling it to yield a record-high generation in excess of 200 GWh/year well into the night every day throughout the year. This makes CSP the only renewable technology at commercial scale to cover the country's daily peak demand from 5 to 9 PM thereby helping to prevent power black outs.
Bokpoort CSP IPP was the only CSP technology project and one of only 19 renewable energy projects selected by the Department of Energy of South Africa from among 79 bids submitted for the second window of the country's REIPPP.
The construction is being undertaken by a consortium of EPC contractors composed of TSK Electrónica y Electricidad S.A., Acciona Infrastructuras S.A., Acciona Ingeniería S.A., Sener Ingeniería y Sistemas S.A., all from Spain, and Crowie Concessions (Pty) Limited of South Africa. The construction of the power facility will utilize more than 40% of scope procured locally in South Africa. The operation and maintenance will be undertaken by a consortium led by NOMAC, a subsidiary of ACWA Power and Invest In Africa Energy Services, a South African services provider. The off-taker of the produced electricity will be Eskom Holdings SOC Limited, a government-owned national utility. The BOKPOORT CSP IPP has partnered with Investec Bank Limited and Absa Bank Limited as mandated lead arrangers to the project and who together with Old Mutual Specialised Finance (Pty) Ltd are providing the senior debt funding requirements of the project.
In addition to wealth creation within South Africa and the local community via the direct investments in the project company, the participation in both construction and in operation and maintenance by South African companies with previously disadvantaged community participation; it will also lead to the creation of 900 jobs in South Africa during the peak of the construction period. The BOKPOORT CSP plant will also inject significant socio-economic value into the rural South African economy in the vicinity of the power facility, which is to be located in one of the most under developed areas of the country, by bringing an average yearly contribution of US$2 million of additional investments and creating about 60 permanent employment opportunities during the operational life of the power facility and through the sharing of return on the investment being made via the 5% local community trust shareholding.
Whilst South Africa relies heavily on coal to meet its energy needs, the country is well-endowed with renewable energy resources that offer sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. With the CSP technology to be used, the BOKPOORT CSP plant will provide electricity to approximately 21,000 households and save approximately 230,000 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions during every year of operation. The technology used in this project will also be a contributor to offsetting South Africa's grid peak power demand period in particular due to its unique size of thermal storage.
Paddy Padmanathan, President & CEO of ACWA Power, stated, "While ACWA Power is a provider of electricity and desalinated water and is thus fuel agnostic, it is very fitting that our entry into the Southern African market should be via a renewable project and such a pace setting project as this with the volume of storage to deliver reliable solar power generated electricity even during the night time peak."
Padmanathan went on to say, "As ACWA Power is also not just a financial investor but a service provider of such basic utilities as electricity and desalinated water, entering a new market means establishing the foundation for a long-term relationship with the country as a whole and the local community we serve. Therefore, we place a great deal of emphasis on socio-economic sustainability of the nations we serve and have facilitated maximum levels of South African participation in the entire project. In addition to a 5% community shareholding, which far exceeds the Government's minimum 2.5% requirement, for whom the equity funding was provided by PIC; ACWA Power as an investor in this project has taken the unusual step of providing funds to Lereko Solafrica Investments (Pty) Limited, owned by previously disadvantaged citizens to hold 13% shares in the project on the same terms as that is usually provided by South African government owned development finance institutions. We are also proud of the fact that in addition to the local community shareholding, particular focus on this project will be on youth development and HIV/AIDS awareness through Lovelife, a national NGO."
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 02 August 2013Read more
Two of the country's Independent Power Producers are celebrating a major milestone this month, to mark a phenomenal 250,000 hours worked without Lost-Time-Incident, a significant target for such a new industry in South Africa. Both Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power, located in the Northern Cape, are proud of this achievement. "Reaching 250,000 hours without a Lost-Time-Incident supports the positive reviews from the Department of Labour's site visits, conducted at both of these projects," said Kevin Foster, Project Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power.
De Aar Solar Power achieved this milestone on the 16 July 2013, at exactly 15h00, which is undoubtedly a highlight in this renewable energy project's construction programme. "This is a major achievement considering that the majority of the workers on our site are unskilled and had no experience of constructing solar projects before their first induction a few months ago," said Savva Antoniadis, Project Manager for De Aar Solar Power.
Considering that De Aar Solar Power's site has particularly challenging conditions from a construction point of view, this achievement is particularly impressive. Almost 300 of the 518 work force are unskilled and needed to be trained onsite and kept motivated to follow safety regulations. Over 70% of both Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power's workforces come from local communities; this means that these communities are directly benefiting from gaining skills through training.
The Projects are focused on instilling a broad acceptance of safety and are committed to their workers safety. Workers receive safety inductions onsite, as well as task training, hazard awareness training and daily information sessions. "Training our workforce and keeping them motivated to act in a safe and responsibly manner, while executing unfamiliar skills, takes a great deal of dedication from management at all levels," concluded Antoniadis.
- MetroWind Van Stadens Wind Farm, 05 July 2013Read more
Engineering and construction prowess will soon be displayed in the Eastern Cape as the first of 10 wind farms in the province begins construction led by Basil Read Matomo at the Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm near Port Elizabeth.
Transport of the components for the nine wind turbines began last week and will continue through this week as nine nacelles, 27 blades and nine towers make their way on a 57-kilometre journey from the Port of Ngqura to the site.
Basil Read Matomo was awarded the R475-million contract as the lead engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and moved onto site on November 15 last year.
The wind turbine components have been secured at a laydown area within the Port of Ngqura since two shipments arrived from China on June 5 and 11 and the wind farm is due to start generating power by February 2014.
"The arrival of the first shipload of turbines is a significant milestone for the project. Transporting the turbines to the wind farm site is challenging, but I am confident that with our team of experts, and the support of the local authorities and community, we will excel at this task," said Marius von Wielligh, Director of Energy at Basil Read Matomo.
The Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm would be the first to come online as one of eight wind energy Independent Power Producers (IPPs) authorised in the first round of the Department of Energy's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in December 2011.
Basil Read Matomo has almost completed the civil works on site, with the roads and turbine platforms ready for arrival of the turbine components over the next few weeks.
"The blades need to be transported on a 64 metre long truck and trailer, given their length, and are rotated at optimal angle so that they can fit under the bridges along the route," said Ken Dyamond, Director of Projects at Basil Read Matomo, adding that the towers were split into four sections for transport.
There are also two transport routes, one for the nacelles and one for the blades and towers: "The nacelles weigh in at a mammoth 120 tons and given both the weight and the size of the hubs, the parts needed to be transported via a less congested route through Uitenhage/Motherwell from the Coega Industrial development Zone to the site."
The blades and tower sections are being transported on the N2 freeway, the more direct route. Upon arrival at their Van Stadens destination, temporary road closures will be in effect daily at Blue Horizon Bay as components move towards site.
Turbine erection will begin mid-July and Basil Read Matomo have confirmed that the turbine installation will be complete by October.
The 27 megawatt (MW) Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm will comprise of nine Sinovel SL3000 3MW turbines and is expected to produce 80 000MWh per year. âThis means that enough electricity for 5000-6000 households will be generated contributing 10% to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipalityâs renewable energy target,â added Rubicept Director, Ian Curry. The company also said that six local communities would benefit from job creation during the construction phase.
The Eastern Cape is set to become a leading wind and renewable energy hub in an effort to assist Department of Energy meet its procurement objectives of 3 725 MW of renewable energy. Major wind farm developments in the province include, amongst others, the Dorper Wind Farm near Molteno and three major projects planned for the Coega Industrial Development Zone. A total of 67% of the national wind projects will be based in the Eastern Cape with an investment value of R18.1-billion. South Africa has a high level of renewable energy potential and the government aims to generate 17 800 MW of renewable energy by 2030. Of this, 8 400 MW is to be generated from wind renewable energy sources.
- MetroWind Van Stadens Wind Farm, 20 June 2013Read more
Port Elizabeth. Tuesday 11 June 2013: Rubicept (Pty) Ltd, the developers of the Metrowind van Stadens Wind Farm, announce the arrival of the first shipload of Sinovel wind turbine components for the project, in Port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.
Basil Read Matomo, subsidiary of the JSE-listed construction, mining, development and engineering group Basil Read; have confirmed that the turbines were transported on two ships from China. The first arrived on Thursday, 6 June and the second ship arrived yesterday Monday, 10 June 2013.
Marius von Wielligh, Director of Energy at Basil Read Matomo said: "The arrival of the first shipload of turbines is a significant milestone for the project. We have been working hard in preparation for this moment. Transporting the turbines to the wind farm site will be a challenging task, but I am confident that with our team of experts, we will excel at this task."
The turbine components are currently being offloaded at the harbour and this is likely to last for a week. Thereafter the process of transporting them by road to the site will begin and erection of the turbines is expected to begin by August 2013.
Donald McGillivray, a Director of Africoast Engineers said: "Africoast is proud to be part of this exciting project and to be working together with such a dynamic team from Basil Read Energy." The Metrowind van Stadens Wind Farm is a strategic project of national significance that has numerous positive local benefits for the Metro, including amongst others, meeting nearly 50% of the Metro's target to generate clean, sustainable renewable electricity as well as investing in, benefiting and uplifting the local community.
The Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm is five months into construction and is generally ahead of schedule. Civil works are nearing completion with all nine wind turbine bases complete. The main control building and individual turbine mini-substations are also currently under construction.
The advancement of roads and turbine platforms has been a priority in anticipation of the delivery of the wind turbines on site. Electrical works on site have also begun and are ramping up to peak works within the next few weeks. The site has remained compliant with all environmental specifications and met targeted job creation goals for the project to date.
Basil Read Matomo was awarded the R475 million EPC contract for the construction of the 27MW Metrowind Van Stadens wind farm project in the Eastern Cape. The turbine supply agreement was concluded in November 2012 and the scheduled commercial operation date is 1 February 2014. The wind farm will feed 80 000MWh/ year of green electricity into the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Grid.
- , 14 May 2013Read more
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