Eskom’s Sere wind farm now fully commercially operational

Sere Wind Farm

Eskom is pleased to announce that its Sere Wind Farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape has achieved its full commercial operational capacity of a 100 MW on 31 March 2015. The achievement of this milestone is in line with the commitments made by Eskom in terms of both time and cost and the result of successful interaction between Eskom and our contractors.

Mr Brian Molefe, Eskom’s Acting Chief Executive said, “Sere is Eskom’s first large-scale renewable energy project, and forms part of our commitment to renewable energy and reducing our carbon footprint. The Sere plant adds 100 MW to the national power grid and contributes to saving nearly 6-million tons of greenhouse gas emissions over its 20 years expected operating life, with average annual energy production of about 298 000 MWh, enough to supply about 124 000 standard homes.”

“The unwavering commitment of the project team to drive the target dates set out and address issues timeously is something we can indeed be proud of as an organisation,” adds Mr Molefe.

All 46 wind turbines have been erected and energised, and the construction of the new Skaapvlei substation and a 44-kilometer 132kV distribution line has been completed. The first wind turbine at the farm was erected in December 2013. The project took the first step towards the goal of synchronising the wind turbines to the grid when the first string of 7 turbines were energised on 6 October; 2014. Although Sere had been completely energised and feeding power to the grid since 30 December 2014, the first quarter of 2015 was used to ensure that the milestone of commercial operation is achieved.

The Sere Wind Farm is Eskom’s first utility scale renewable energy project. “The project is one of the largest wind enery projects in South Africa and is important in showing Eskom’s commitment to the growing role that renewable power will play in the future,” Mr Molefe said.

Since the energising of the first wind turbine in October 2014, the Sere Wind Farm has contributed over 90 GWhrs of energy to the national power grid. Through this facility, Eskom has shown that it can construct a world class wind energy facility comparable to any in the world with regard to cost, time, and quality and with a safety record in line with Eskom’s zero harm policy. There were also no environmental legal contraventions recorded on the project and given the extent of the site and the amount of bush clearing done, this is an outstanding achievement.

The wind farm is not the only green energy initiative at Eskom, which is also developing a 100 MW concentrating solar plant (CSP) project near Upington in the Northern Cape, a project that will save about 450 000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime.

The World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and Agence Française de Développement helped fund the project.

Image: © Eskom


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