Wind farm becomes reality

Lüderitz''s infamous wind to be harnessed

22 November 2016 | Energy

Civil work on the first wind-energy farm in Namibia started at Lüderitz last week.

The notoriously windy town of Lüderitz will be home to the country''s first wind farm, which is scheduled for completion by the middle of next year.

Renewable energy company InnoSun confirmed last week that civil engineering work on the five-megawatt Ombepo wind farm had started.

Project engineer Alexandre Matton said: “Construction of the very first wind farm started last week, with the first blast that happened in the eastern rocky hills of Lüderitz. This wind farm is a partnership between the Lüderitz Town Council and InnoSun under the special-purpose vehicle named Ombepo Energy.”

According to Matton, the first phase of construction entails civil works.

“We are currently creating access roads to the platforms where the foundations will be poured to accommodate the 80-metre-high steel towers. Three massive wind turbines will compose this very first wind farm. We intend to have this wind farm operational by mid next year.”

Matton explained that Ombepo Energy is licensed to generate and feed five megawatts of power into the national grid. The licence was issued by the Electricity Control Board in June 2015.

“We then signed a power purchase agreement with NamPower in January 2016, under the Electricity Control Board''s interim renewable energy tariff programme. It is a 25-year contract with a base tariff even more competitive than solar photovoltaic [electricity].”

Matton had previously cited results of projects in South Africa which proved that the unit cost of electricity from wind farms is cheaper than the same electricity generated by a coal power plant.

Added Matton: “Wind technology is mature. There have been improvements in wind turbine technology and it has grown to be extremely competitive. We also believe Lüderitz is one of the top regions in the world to harness wind technology.”

Innosun Energy Holdings project manager Jan-Barend Scheepers was quoted as saying in a Nampa interview in September: “Early 2017, Namibia will have its first clean wind energy being plugged into the grid and we are very excited about it.”

OGONE TLHAGE

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