Namibian electricty utility company NamPower has announced plans to build two new wind energy farms in the country. The company wishes to launch two wind energy projects in the Tsau//Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) national park, located near the coast in the southwest of Namibia.
The wind energy projects
The first wind farm to be developed by NamPower will cost US $68m. The project will start with the installation of a measuring mast to confirm the wind potential of the site and define the vertical wind profile. If the wind potential of the site is proven, 16 wind turbines will have to be installed, producing 40MW.
The second wind power project will be developed as part of a public-private partnership (PPP). The independent power producer (IPP) that wins this concession will be responsible for building a 50MW wind farm. The power will be sold to NamPower under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Protecting local biodiversity
Ernst Krige, senior engineer at NamPower noted that the choice of companies to carry out the project, after a thorough review, will depend in particular on the project’s environmental impact management model since the wind turbines will be built in the Tsau//Khaeb (Sperrgebiet) national park.
While the wind turbine is not a direct problem for large mammals, it is a danger to birds that can get their wings caught in the blades as the park is full of them. There is a large population of larks and alario canaries. To date, no plans have been announced to protect birds. However, Pohamba Shifeta, Namibia’s Minister of Environment and Tourism, said he was committed to protecting local biodiversity.