An optimistic wind power procurement environment that is underpinned by three government bid windows for renewable energy in close succession, as well as the imminent release of the 513MW energy storage Request for Proposals (RFP’s) will require Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to prepare to meet burgeoning market needs. Added to this is the latest REIPPP Programme directive that substantially changes the wind project capacity range to a maximum of 240MW, from its previous 140MW ceiling.
“This changing energy landscape, which is defined by the accelerated uptake of renewable energy for the foreseeable future, requires technology that delivers increased power capacity. This follows global trends, which demonstrates that as markets have matured, wind turbine generators with augmented unitary power are required, to not only deliver better output but relatively improved cost,” said Compton Saunders, Managing Director of Nordex Energy South Africa.
In preparation to meet market needs, Nordex Energy South Africa has taken the decision to introduce newer generation technology and to standardise this technology across its new wind farms going forward. The increase in unitary power not only leads to improved cost of energy, it reduces land usage and visual impact, as wind farms require fewer numbers of wind turbines.
“The Delta 4000 platform incorporates products with a power capacity starting from 4.5MW to 6MW+ with the N163/6X, which is significantly higher than the previous AW platform that had a range of power from 3MW to 3.4MW. Furthermore, because the platform incorporates different products that share certain sub-components between them, the standardisation eases the Operations and Maintenance of those wind turbines,” explains Saunders.
To deliver on this, the core local construction operations team are currently in Spain, to train on Nordex’s updated wind turbine technology, in preparation for the exponential growth of South Africa’s wind sector, which will require robust construction expertise.
As stated by the Head of Operations for Nordex Energy South Africa, Innes Louw, the proudly South African team are benefiting from the global exposure and skills that will be brought back to home, in preparation for the expected period of intense construction that the wind sector will soon enter into.
Some of the team will remain in Spain or travel onto Finland for up to six months to receive intensive training on the Nordex Delta 4000 platform.
OEMs job creation potential
Local OEMs such as Nordex, play a key role in stimulating local jobs and skills. The company sees Bid Window 5 and 6, as an important link in driving the local value chain, which will directly stimulate the domestic job market.
About the Delta 4000:
The Nordex Group was the first company to launch a turbine platform with a flexible rating as part of its core design philosophy and operation strategy. This design approach, combined with a variety of operating modes, enables the turbine to adapt to the grid operator’s individual requirements and local wind conditions.
This also means it’s possible to optimise the overall yield of a wind farm by means of the different maximum output of individual turbines, thus always exploiting the full potential of each turbine position within each single wind farm.
The technical concept of the Delta 4000 series minimises service requirements over the entire service life of the turbine. Each component was rigorously designed to ensure lower maintenance effort, in addition to a mobile crane solution, which the models of this product series provide.