A new 140MW wind farm in the Northern Cape is the final facility in a project that will provide power to 485,000 South African homes over the next 20 years.
The Kangnas wind farm – which is located around 50km east of Springbok – has officially entered commercial operation, renewable energy generation company Lekela has announced.
Construction on Kangnas started in 2018 and it now comprises 61 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines and two transformers.
The facility forms part of a larger 610MW Lekela-led consortium which includes four other wind farms – Khobab, Loeriesfontein, Noupoort, and Perdekraal East.
Lekela CEO Chris Antonopoulos said the entire project took only five years and called the latest addition a significant milestone.
“Kangnas completes what only existed as ideas on a piece of paper just a few years ago,” Antonopoulos said.
“We now have over 600MW of wind power in operation, which will supply clean electricity to hundreds of thousands of South Africans, at an affordable price for the next two decades,” he added.
Other Lekela wind farms
The launch of Kangnas was preceded by the 110MW Perdekraal East wind farm entering operation in October.
Lekela explained that Perdekraal East was the first wind farm from Round 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme to enter operation.
The consortium’s first wind farm in South Africa, Noupoort, was also the first project from Round 3 to reach commercial operation, back in 2016.
Below is a breakdown of the generation capacities and number of homes each wind farm provides with electricity:
- Kangnas – 140MW – 154,625 homes
- Khobab – 140MW – 170,000 homes
- Loeriesfontein – 140MW – 161,300 homes
- Noupoort – 80MW – 91,835 homes
- Perdekraal East – 110MW – 111,118 homes
Growing jobs and electricity availability
Lekela said that 50% of Kangnas’s construction content was manufactured locally in South Africa, including the site’s two transformers.
“Kangnas wind farm also committed to driving local job creation on top of manufacturing, providing over 550 jobs at the height of the project’s construction,” it added.
He further stated that no other source of energy has the pace of development, nor the backing of governments, communities and companies that wind and solar do.
“We have to capitalise on this appetite to ensure the number of Africans without access to electricity continues to fall, not rise, in the next decade,” Antonopoulos added.
Lekela said it has also recently been awarded a grant from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to fund a feasibility study in partnership with Senelec for Senegal’s first grid-scale battery electric storage system.
“The study will focus on how to provide increased grid stability and integrate intermittent renewable energy into Senelec’s electricity grid,” the company explained.
This battery will be located at Lekela’s 158.7MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye (PETN) project, which is itself the first utility-scale wind farm in Senegal.
Below are photos of the wind farms which form part of the Lekela-led consortium in South Africa.