Loeriesfontein Wind Farm has announced the completion of all 61 of its wind turbine foundations. The final foundation was completed in line with the construction schedule, on 17th June 2016. Work on the foundations began in October last year, with employees from the local community working tirelessly through the days, putting in long hours to complete the first foundation on 13 October 2015. “We would like to thank the local workers who have ensured that our project has continued to forge ahead on time, their commitment is greatly appreciated and something that the community as a whole can be proud of,” said Leo Quinn, Project Manager for Loeriesfontein Wind Farm.
The majority of the labour is employed from the Loeriesfontein community, in support of local employment and upliftment. “As part of our commitment to skills development and community development, we have provided local employees with the transferable skills training,” added Quinn.
The material excavated from the foundation bases was of a good quality and was subsequently reused on site, specifically for the wind farm road construction and in the preparation of the turbine hard stands, situated adjacent to the foundations.
Each turbine base has a diameter of 19 metres comprising over 45 tonnes of reinforced steel. These turbine foundations are utilising one of the world’s lowest quantities of Portland cement in the concrete formulation. Slag, a by-product from the iron industry, is used to replace 89% of the cement. This has resulted in what is believed to be, one of the world’s lowest carbon footprints for any wind farm foundation.
“In closing, we would like to once again thank the 135 plus individuals, who worked diligently to complete these foundations, from batching the concrete to floating it, concluded Quinn. Situated in the Hantam Municipality 60km north of Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm will have sixty one 99m-high wind turbines erected on 3,453 hectares of agricultural land, and will connect into a 132kV Eskom line.
The site was chosen because of its excellent wind resource, its proximity to national roads for wind turbine transportation, the favourable construction conditions, municipality and local stakeholder support, the straightforward electrical connection into Eskom’s Helios substation approximately 11km south of the site, and studies showed that there would be minimum environmental impact.
When operating at full capacity, the Loeriesfontein Wind Farm will generate approximately 563,500 MWh of clean renewable energy per year; this is expected to supply electricity to power up to 120 000 South African homes.