South Africa’s largest wind farm, the 140MW Oyster Bay wind farm has started producing electricity for Eskom, Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA)’s CEO William Price announced last week. The project was developed by Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), a subsidiary of Italian renewable energy independent power producer Enel S.p.A.
The wind energy facility is located in the Kouga Local Municipality in Eastern Cape Province. It was constructed at an overall investment of approximately 180 million euros. The Oyster Bay wind farm will supply power to state power utility Eskom under a 20-year power supply agreement.
“With our novel pre-commissioning efforts, we will be ramping up to 140MW very quickly at a critical time when South Africa needs electricity production,” said William Price, CEO of Enel Green Power RSA.
Oyster Bay is Enel’s fourth wind project in South Africa. According to Enel, the facility features 41 – 3,6MW wind turbine generators. The wind farm is expected to generate around 568 GWh annually once fully operational. Through the wind farm, South Africa will avoid annual emissions of around 590,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Enel’s renewable energy portfolio in SA
Enel won a total of five wind projects with a cumulative capacity of 700MW under the 4th round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender.
To build this project, Enel says it used “innovative tools and methods” including use of advanced digital platforms and software solutions to monitor and remotely support site activities and plant commissioning. They also used digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components as well as an active safety system.
Employment of digital technologies during construction enabled swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams.
The company also created jobs in the community surrounding Oyster Bay, while also prioritising education, a key driver of socio-economic development. The company supplies schools with clean energy through mini-PV systems, awarding scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects to local students and supporting school feeding programmes in the Kouga municipality. Enel promotes STEM in the community, also by supporting the employment of three full time teachers.