Construction starts at R2.9bn Oyster Bay Wind Farm
Italian multinational energy company Enel, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA), has begun construction of its Oyster Bay Wind Farm, of around 140MW, in the Kouga Local Municipality, in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.
The construction of Oyster Bay, which is Enel’s fourth wind project in the country, will involve an investment of approximately EUR180 million (R2.9 billion).
“With the start of construction of the fourth wind project in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, we are continuing to contribute to the socio-economic development of the area through our zero-emission energy and initiatives to create shared value,” says Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power.
“These initiatives include the innovative model implemented at the Oyster Bay construction site, as well as the sustainability activities focused on scientific and technical education in the area around the project.
“Looking ahead, we will continue to harness South Africa’s abundance of renewable resources, creating a virtuous circle of sustainable energy generation, education and development.”
Enel says once fully up and running, due in the second quarter of 2021, the 41-turbine Oyster Bay is expected to generate around 568GWh per year, avoiding the annual emission of around 590 000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.
The wind farm will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with South African energy utility Eskom, as part of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme tender, which awarded in April 2015 a total of five wind projects for 700MW to the Enel Group in its fourth round.
EGP says it will use innovative tools and methods to build this wind park, such as advanced digital platforms and software solutions to monitor and remotely support site activities and plant commissioning, digital tools to perform quality controls on site and smart tracking of wind turbine components as well as an active safety system.
These processes and tools will enable swifter, more accurate and reliable data collection, improving the quality of construction and facilitating communication between on-site and off-site teams, it says.
In addition, the company has committed to ensure job creation in the community surrounding Oyster Bay, while also prioritising education, a key driver of socio-economic development. It will supply schools with clean energy through mini-PV systems, award scholarships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to local students and support school feeding programmes in the Kouga municipality.