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Renewable Energy - Sere wind farm project

Eskom’s Sere wind farm reaches its target of generating at full capacity

Friday, 30 January 2015: Eskom is pleased to announce that its Sere wind farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape is now generating at its full capacity of a 100 MW, two months ahead of targeted date of end-March 2015.
All 46 wind turbines have been erected and are fully operational, and the construction of a new substation and a 43-kilometer transmission line has been completed. On 6 October; 2014, the project took a step closer to the goal of synchronising the wind turbines to the grid when the first string of 7 turbines were energised. The first wind turbine at the farm was erected in December 2013.
Mr Dan Marokane, Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive said, “Sere wind farm is Eskom’s first large-scale renewable energy project, and forms part of our commitment to renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint. We’re building a world-class, utility scale wind farm.”
The wind farm, one of the largest in Southern Africa, will help diversify Eskom’s energy mix and contribute to South Africa’s objective of meeting 42% of the country’s power demand with renewable energy sources by 2030.  Sere is the Nama word for cool breeze.
Sere will generate up to 100 MW of power for the national grid, saving nearly six million tons of carbon emissions over 20 years. The facility will produce enough energy to power about 68 000 standard homes. 
Eskom’s decision to locate the farm at Skaapvlei Farm within the Matzikama Municipality is predicated on research findings indicating that the site has among the highest wind speeds in the country.              
The World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and Agence Française de Développement helped fund the project.
“The project is fairly small in capacity but it is important in showing Eskom’s commitment to the growing role that renewable power will play in the future,” said Mr Marokane said.     
The wind farm is not the only green energy initiative at Eskom, which is also developing a 100 MW concentrating solar plant project near Upington in the Northern Cape, a project that will save about 450 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime.
The Sere Wind Farm Facility is located in a good wind resource area at Skaapvlei Farm within the Matzikama Municipality, in the Western Cape, South Africa
Major milestones achieved in 2014:
  1. Last WTG foundation cast – 11th June 2014
  2. Skaapvlei substation energised – 11th July 2014
  3. Last WTG components delivered to the Sere site – 7th August 2014
  4. First string of 7 WTG’s energised – 6th October 2014
  5. First power to the National Grid – 10th October 2014
  6. Last (46th) WTG erected – 20th October 2014
  7. Last string of 6 WTG’s energised – 30th December 2014 
Operational data
Cut-in wind speed 3-4 m/s
Rated power at 11-12 m/s
Cut-out wind speed 25 m/s
Type 3-bladed, horizontal axis
Position Upwind
Diameter 108 m
Swept area 9150 m²
Speed range 6-16 rpm
Rotors tilt 6 degrees
Type Cylindrical and/or tapered tubular
Hub height 115 m or site-specific
Corrosion protection Painted
Type Self-supporting
Quantum Blade Design length 53m
The National Energy Regulator (NERSA) has granted a license for Eskom’s Sere wind farm, opening the way for construction to go ahead on the R2.4 billion project, which is due to be in full commercial operation by the end of 2014.
The Sere wind farm will generate up to 100 MW of power for the national grid, avoiding nearly 4.7 million tons of carbon emissions over 20 years. Sere takes its name from the Nama word for “cool breeze”.
The project has been funded by a group of development finance institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund and Agence Francaise de Developpement.
Eskom’s Sere wind farm will comprise 46 Siemens 2.3-108 wind turbine generators and is expected to deliver first power to the national grid in the first half of 2014, with full commercial operation scheduled by the end of 2014. The project includes construction of a new substation and a 132 kV distribution line. It will create about up to 170 direct jobs during the construction phase.
It has an expected operating life of 20 years, with average annual energy production of about 233 000MWh, enough clean energy to power about 97 000 standard homes.

Some of the wind turbines erected at Eskom’s Sere wind farm


Alongside the Sere project, Eskom has a 100 MW Concentrating Solar Plant project near Upington in the Northern Cape, which also has funding from development finance institutions. It has also installed solar photo-voltaic panels to provide auxiliary power at its head office and at two of its coal-fired power stations, with a view to rolling out solar PV across other facilities.