Renewable Energy - Sere Wind Farm Project
South Africa’s Western Cape is blessed with abundant wind energy resources. It is here, on approximately 3 700 hectares within the Matzikama Local Municipality and West Coast District Municipality, that Eskom has developed its first commercial scale wind energy project: the Sere Wind Farm. The Sere Wind Farm will be situated on the Atlantic coast, near the towns of Koekenaap, Lutzville and Vredendal.
The project will involve the development of a wind farm, with a delivered generating capacity of 100 MW. It will comprise of 46 turbines of 2.3 MW each. Full commercial operation of the project is scheduled by the end of 2014. Sere is Eskom’s first large-scale renewable energy project and demonstrates the utility’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and to investing in a sustainable energy future.
Eskom expects that the project will be able to produce 298 000 MWh/year from 2014 which will be fed into the national grid. The project will be connected to the grid through the Skaapvlei substation at a voltage of 132 kV and transmitted to the Juno substation through a new distribution line.
The project is being executed for Eskom’s Renewable Energy Business Unit, through which it is hoped that similar projects will be undertaken by the utility. The project will create over 400 direct jobs during its construction and bring significant economic activity to the Matzikama community. Eskom Renewables will also train and employ fulltime skilled technicians from the local community to operate and maintain the facility over its life.
The project is forecast to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 6 million tonnes over the projected 20-year life of the plant.
The project’s costs compare favourably with the market in terms of both capital and levelised cost of energy. The project is being funded by a number of Developing Finance Institutions (DFIs) and forms part of a broader country program whereby funds were accessed through the Clean Technology Fund and supported by the South African Government. The DFIs that are collaborating with Eskom on this project are Agence Française de Développement, African Development Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
The first wind turbine was erected at the Sere project on 2 December 2013. Blades for wind turbines and other components for the project began arriving at the Saldanha Bay harbour in October 2013. The turbine components are currently being transported to site. By mid February 2014 five of the wind turbines had been erected.
Key contracts and suppliers
The Sere Wind Farm project is being constructed in partnership with the international energy technology conglomerate, Siemens Wind Power A/S. It will consist of forty six type SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines, each with a capacity to produce 2.3 megawatts of clean electricity. According to the turnkey contract awarded to Siemens, the company will supply, construct, commission, operate and service the wind farm for a five-year period following completion of its commissioning.
Raubex is undertaking civil work, and the electric interconnection facilities are being constructed by Steffanutti and Powertech
Eskom project manager: Luchen Reddy, email email@example.com
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