CAPE TOWN – Renewable power generation company Lekela has completed it’s 5th project in South Africa. The 140MW Kangnas wind farm was officially connected to the grid this week. This brings the total capacity of Lekela-led consortium projects to 600MW in South Africa. With the projects under its portfolio, Lekela will deliver affordable power for up to 485,000 South African homes. This will be achieved over 20 years through a power purchase agreement (PPA) with national utility Eskom.
The Kangnas wind farm is situated in the Nama Khoi Municipal area, in the Northern Cape province of South Africa. The Lekela-led consortium was awarded this project during the controversial bid window 4 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). It is the first wind energy project under that window to reach full commercial operations date (COD). Another Lekela project, 110MW Perdekraal East went online last month.
Construction of the project started in 2018, sourcing much of its labour force from the local area of Nama Khoi Municipality. Kangnas wind farm also committed to drive local job creation, providing over 550 jobs at the height of the project’s construction. Long-term operations and maintenance jobs will also be supported while the 61 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines generate electricity for 20 years.
Localisation was a huge priority for the developers with 50% of the content used on the project being South African made, including the site’s two transformers and turbine towers.
The Department of Energy and Mineral Resources requires that wind energy projects source at least 45% of the content from local manufacturers. Lekela reports that Kangnas wind farm content levels exceeded 45% as required by the Department. The demand for locally made inputs is set to boost South Africa’s manufacturing industry as more rounds of renewable energy projects are introduced.
“Kangnas’ success supporting local manufacturing and jobs is an indicator of how low-carbon technologies can drive renewed economic growth in the wake of COVID. 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,” said Chris Antonopoulos, Chief Executive Officer at Lekela
A COVID-19 delivery & community investment
The coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected delivery of many energy projects. Lekela has been able to deliver the projects under its portfolio within project timeframes. They have also invested in community programmes to help local communities where they operate respond better to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is providing personal protective equipment, food parcels and hand-sanitisers.
“As we enter this new phase, we are pleased to note that a number of our impactful development programmes are already in place, all of which drive socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives, in support of local communities,” says Christo Loots, construction programme manager, for Kangnas Wind Farm