The Loeriesfontein Wind Farm announced the completion of all 61 wind turbine installations as well as having attained over 1,25 million hours without a single lost-time-incident, as of 1 March 2017.
Christo Loots, project manager of Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, said:“This is a incredibly major health and safety construction highlight for one of the nation’s biggest wind farms, so taking into account the total scale of the project, the multiple level of activities and the complexities concerned, it is a notable accomplishment.”
According to a statement, the wind farm finished the lifting of all its wind turbine generators ahead of schedule which is credited to the devoted turbine installation team who started the lifting process during August 2016.
The installation team worked many late nights and early mornings to take advantage of the periods of low wind to install all the turbines in six months and ahead of schedule.
About 70% of the labor force come from the Loeriesfontein community and have directly profited from the skills development programmes, the statement added.
This work experience will definitely benefit Khobab Wind Farm, the neighboring wind farm, which will start with its first turbine lifting early next month.
The Siemens wind turbines, which are 100m tall to enable optimal energy production, take between one and three days to build, assuming the weather is favorable, the statement explained.
The three 53m blades, made from fiberglass reinforced epoxy, are linked to the rotor at ground level before being lifted to the top of the turbine.
This is a complex lifting exercise, in which one crane raises the assembled rotor at the same time as another smaller crane and taglines guide the rotor into the right position.
The wind turbines tip reaches a remarkable 154m into the sky when one of the blades stands upright. The heaviest component is the nacelle, which contains the generator and gearbox; and weighs 82.5 tones.
Khobab and Loeriesfontein Wind Farms, which jointly span 6,653 hectares, will produce a notable joint output of 280MW generated by their 122 wind turbines.
This is equal to 240,000 average homes being powered yearly, providing a huge boost to energy provision in the nation.
The location was selected because of its outstanding wind resource, its closeness to national roads for wind turbine transportation and the favorable construction conditions.