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Sunday, August 14, 2022

New wind farm for the Northern Cape’s renewable energy hub

THE 145MW Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) Garob wind farm in the Northern Cape of South Africa has successfully achieved commercial operation. 

Garob wind farm, located near the remote Northern Cape town of Copperton in the Siyathemba Local Municipality, will generate 573GWh every year.

This could potentially prevent the emission of approximately 600,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.

The facility is situated in the Northern Cape province, an area fast becoming a renewable energy hub in South Africa because of the growing number of solar and wind farms in the region.

This particular project was awarded to Enel Green Power in April 2015 as part of the fourth tender round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The wind farm is supported by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with South African energy utility provider, Eskom.

William Price, Country Manager of EGP RSA, said that the facility represents an investment of over €200 million (approximately $225 million) in South Africa.

Construction of Garob wind farm commenced in April 2019.

This work included the on-site building of concrete towers instead of prefabricated steel towers.

Local contractors did the work, with 511 community members on the project at the peak of the construction phase.

Several Creating Shared Value (CSV) initiatives were conducted in underserved communities in close proximity to the wind farm. Some of these include:

  • Donation of wooden pallets and cable drums to the communities for making furniture;
  • Issuing of PPE to the Health Workers during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Provision of 100 blankets to old age homes during winter;
  • Food parcels to 200 vulnerable families at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown;
  • Donating tablets for 135 Grade 11 students;
  • Granting of full scholarships to two learners to further their education at any university within South Africa; and
  • Sponsorship of local sport events with 300 young people participating.

Now that the site is operational, EGPRSA will launch Enterprise Development (ED) initiatives such as the Herbal Lean Incubation Programme.

This programme provides mentoring and support services to start-ups in the agri-, bio- and food technology fields.

Additional sustainability projects planned in the Northern Cape province include the installation of an artificial turf football field that captures and stores rainwater; a water purification facility to clean rainwater and address water shortages by providing clean drinking water; and free Wi-Fi to local communities.

  • * ESIAfrica
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