The renewable energy generation company, Lekela, has announced that its Kangnas wind farm, has successfully reached commercial operational status.

Kangnas wind farm is situated outside Northern Cape’s Springbok region, and in the heart of the Nama Khoi Municipal area.

Kangnas consists of 61 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 wind turbines which will generate a total of 140MW of clean electricity for 20 years.  

This project marks the completion of all five wind farms in a Lekela-led consortium across South Africa. Together, these total over 600MW and will provide clean, cost-effective power for up to 485,000 South African homes over the next 20 years.

The Kangnas wind farm’s construction began in 2018 and has been achieved with 50% of its construction content manufactured locally in South Africa, including the site’s two transformers.

Creating Opportunities with Sensitivity to Local Communities

Kangnas wind farm is also committed to drive local job creation on top of manufacturing, providing over 550 employment opportunities at the height of the project’s construction, while long-term operations and maintenance employment opportunities will also be supported. 

Despite the challenges presented by coronavirus, Lekela’s overarching priority has been to support the health and safety of all employees, contractors and partners while continuing to provide clean, reliable power.

At the same time, Lekela and its companies have pivoted its community investment programmes in South Africa to help local communities in their response to the pandemic. Initiatives include supporting local enterprises during the pandemic, providing personal protective equipment, as well as food parcels for local families and hand-sanitiser for local communities.

The Lekela Advantage

In South Africa, Lekela leads two investor consortia which own and operate five wind farms across the Northern and Western Cape.

Three of these were awarded under the REIPPP Round 3 program – Noupoort, Loeriesfontein 2 and Khobab – and are already in operation while two projects, Perdekraal East and Kangnas were awarded under the REIPPP Round 4 program – also in operation. In total, Lekela’s wind farms will contribute 610MW of clean power to South Africa’s power grid.

Other investor consortium members in these projects include: The IDEAS Managed Fund, part of Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (South Africa); Thebe Investment Corporation; Futuregrowth Asset Management; Genesis Eco-Energy in partnership with Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital; Noupoort Community Trust, Khobab Community Trusts; and Loeriesfontein Community Trusts; H1 Holdings, African Rainbow Energy and Power, and Perdekraal East Renewable Energy Community Trust and Kangnas Renewable Energy Community Trust.

The local community Trusts are funded by the shareholders and other partners and will be carrying out public benefit activities to assist the local community through economic development.

Mainstream Asset Management South Africa (MAMSA), a subsidiary of Mainstream Renewable Power (MRP)provides construction and operation management for these five projects on behalf of Lekela and the other shareholders involved in the projects.

Rolling out Affordable Services

With 600MW of wind power in operation, which will supply clean electricity to hundreds of thousands of South Africans, at an affordable price for the next two decades. The Lekela is now firmly one of the leading providers of clean, renewable energy in South Africa.

Making Economic Sense 

The economic feasibility means the 61 turbines, each producing 2.3MW will add around another 500 GWh of clean power each year to the national grid. Lekela has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom and co-owns the project with the local community which is a shareholder through a community trust.

Environmental Benefits for Better Living

The environmental feasibility study report indicates that the facility will eliminate approximately 410,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually, compared to traditional fossil-fuel power-plants.

Conclusion  

With the global Net Zero carbon emission program gaining momentum, there is no other source of energy which has the pace of development, nor the backing of government, communities and companies that wind currently does. The time is now to capitalise on this momentum to ensure all South Africans access to clean, reliable, and cost-effective power continues to fall over the next decade.

This is the very reason why Nikham Offshore created a new specialist division called Nikham Renewable Energy, with its sole purpose to provide renewable energy projects with specialised services from Manpower & Recruitment, onsite Welding & Fabrication, Non-Destructive Testing, Nace qualified painting and inspection services and a comprehensive range of Rope Access services which includes warranty and post warranty tower and blade services.