7th April 2017
Construction of the Northern Cape-based Khobab Wind Farm has begun in earnest with the arrival of various wind turbine components at the construction site in the Hantam municipality, 60 km north of Loeriesfontein, in the Northern Cape. The first components, comprising two nacelles, two hubs and three turbine blades, arrived at the wind farm on February 22.
The tower sections will be transported to Loeriesfontein on the N1 highway, through Worcester, Laingsburg and Beaufort West – a five-day journey of 1 396 km. The 53-mlong turbine blades, together with other components, will travel 1 158 km along the N10 highway, from the Port of Ngqura, in Port Elizabeth, through Uitenhage to GraaffReinet, Beaufort West, Three Sisters and Carnarvon and to the site. Trucks with oversized trailers, varying in size up to 57 m long, will deliver the various components to the Khobab Wind Farm, having started in late February, with the final load arriving in August.
Khobab Wind Farm project manager Kevin Foster explains that sections of the wind turbines being manufactured locally has reuslted in the wind farm’s local-content commitments exceeding 40% of the project’s total value. “Local content has a vital role to play in the long-term growth of the renewable-energy sector and its positive impact on the country.”
Residents in Loeriesfontein and the surrounding towns of Niewoudtville and Calvinia have grown accustomed to wind turbine component sections making their way to Loeriesfontein, as Khobab Wind Farm’s sister property, Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, has received all its abnormal loads comprising the various wind turbine components.
The Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms, together spanning 6 653 ha, will produce a combined output of 280 MW – the equivalent of the total electricity demand for 240 000 average households a year. This electricity is generated by the 122 wind turbines.