Khobab wind farm and Loeriesfontein wind farm, in the Northern Cape, have both received their main transformers. The transformers made their way to the sister wind farms, via road transportation from Johannesburg, marking another important milestone in their construction process.
These 160MvA (Mega Volt Amp) transformers are to be housed in the substations, from where all the generated power is transferred to the electricity grid. “These transformers are responsible for increasing the voltage from 33kV to 132KV, which is the voltage required to transfer power to Eskom’s national grid,” explained Project Manager of Khobab Wind Farm, Kevin Foster.
Each wind turbine is connected to a step-up transformer which boosts the generating output of the wind turbine generator from 690 V to 33 kV. These transformers are located at the base of the wind turbine. From here the cables throughout the wind farm bring the 33 kV electricity from the step up transformers to convene at the substation where the main transformer is situated. The main transformer, which was manufactured by Actom , plays an important role in the wind farm’s power generation efficiency.
CONCO is responsible for the electrical component of the balance of plant works, including the engineering, procurement and construction of the medium voltage collector system, substation and overhead line connection.
The projects are currently employing around 500 workers, 70% of which come from the Loeriesfontein community and range from general labourers up to machine operators. “We are pleased that construction is on track so far, in fact, we are ahead of schedule on a number of components,” added Leo Quinn, Project Manager of Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
- Loeriesfontein wind farm completed all turbine foundations on 17th June 2016.
- Khobab wind farm is expected to complete all turbine foundations by end December 2016.
- Transportation of the various wind turbine components commenced on 18 April 2016.
- Loeriesfontein wind farm achieved over a million hours without a single lost-time-incident, on the 31 October 2016.
- Khobab wind farm and Loeriesfontein wind farm, officially commenced, September 2015.
The Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms are part of the South African Government’s Round 3 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) and will be managed both in terms of construction and operations by Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa. The Loeriesfontein and Khobab wind farms, are expected to be operational by December 2017.