Noupoort Wind Farm Connects to Eskom Grid
Noupoort Wind Farm, in the Northern Cape, has announced that the wind farm is now connected to the Eskom grid and commissioning of wind turbines has commenced. “We energised the substation on 12 February and the first turbines on 23 February, marking a pivotal point in the construction of the wind farm as we begin the process of testing,” explained Martina Flanagan, Project Manager of Noupoort Wind Farm.
This ZAR1.9 billion project is the first wind farm as part of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme’s round three to energize and is expected to also be the first to complete construction in the Northern Province by mid-2016.
The team at Noupoort Wind Farm has been working closely with their contractor Consolidated Power Projects and the various Eskom teams to achieve this milestone. “We’re working together with the Eskom teams in both the Northern and Eastern Cape Operating Units to ensure a smooth and safe energisation and commissioning process,” added Flanagan.
The substation is divided into two parts, one section is owned by the wind farm and the other section and the overhead line will be handed over to Eskom for ownership and operation. The substation is situated in the centre of the wind farm and is the place where all the 33 kV cables from the turbines meet. At this meeting point the power from the wind farm goes through power quality checks and measurement devices. Following this, the power is directed through the transformer where the voltage is increased to 132 kV. The power is then exported from the transformer on a single power line. At this stage the power crosses onto the Eskom side of the substation where further power quality checks and measurements are completed before exporting onto the 10 km long 132 kV line which connects the wind farm to the main Eskom grid for distributing electricity. This connection point is situated just 3km’s south of the town of Noupoort.
This marks a major step towards supplying enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 69 000 South African homes and will effectively eliminate approximately 300 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
Construction of the wind farm is progressing smoothly with over half of the project’s total 35 wind turbines having already been erected. The transportation of the various components is also running according to schedule and is expected to reach completion by end-March.
• Construction of the wind turbine generator foundations started in May 2015.
• All 35 turbine foundations were completed, before schedule, on 20 November 2015.
• Transportation of the various components commenced on 19 October 2015.
• More than x of the 315 abnormal loads have already successfully made their way to the wind farm.
• 20 of the project’s total 35 wind turbines have already been erected.
“We are extremely pleased be on schedule and on budget,” concluded Flanagan.
Further information is available on the Noupoort Wind Farm website: www.noupoortwind.co.za.