Garob wind farm ready for commercial operation | Infrastructure news

Garob wind farm, which is located near the remote Northern Cape town of Copperton in the Siyathemba Local Municipality, will be able to generate 573 GWh every year, potentially preventing the emission of approximately 600,000 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually.

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

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 South African energy utility provider, Eskom. EGPRSA is working to enlarge its asset portfolio with new investments both for future regulated tenders and private PPAs with South African industrial and commercial clients

This brings the number of operational Enel Green Power RSA wind and solar sites in South Africa up to 10 projects, with an overall installed capacity of more than 800 MW.

The other sites are located in five provinces in the country, with Nojoli (88 MW), Gibson Bay (111 MW), Oyster Bay (148 MW) and Nxuba (148 MW) in the Eastern Cape; Upington (10 MW), Adams (82.5 MW) and Paleisheuwel (82.5 MW) in the Western Cape; Pulida (82.5 MW) in the Free State; Tom Burke (66 MW) in Limpopo; and now, Garob in the Northern Cape.

William Price – Country Manager of EGP RSA says the facility involves over 200 million euros investment in South Africa.

The construction of Garob wind farm, which commenced in Apr 2019, included the on-site building of concrete towers instead of prefabricated steel towers. The work was completed by local contractors, providing employment for about 511 people from the local community at peak of the construction phase of the project.

Several creating shared value (CSV) initiatives have been conducted in underserved communities that are 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 cold winter season

·         Provision of food parcels to 200 vulnerable families at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown

·         Provision of tablets for 135 Grade 11 students

·         Granting of full scholarships to two learners to further their education at any university within South Africa

·         Sponsorship of local sport events with 300 young people participating

Now that the site is operational, EGP RSA will launch Enterprise Development (ED) initiatives such as the Herbal Lean Incubation Programme. The programme provides mentoring and support services to start-ups in the agro, bio and food technology field.

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 the rainwater and address water shortages by providing clean drinking water; and free Wi-Fi to local communities.

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