Enel Green Power commences operation of its 140MW Nxuba wind farm

Enel green energyThe Enel Group’s South African renewable energy subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) has reached commercial operation on its 140MW Nxuba wind farm in the Eastern Cape province

The project, whose construction involved an investment of around US$245.36mn, is expected to generate 460 GWh of energy annually.

“This important milestone confirms EGP’s commitment to South Africa and cements our position as the leading renewable Independent Power Producer in the country,” said Salvatore Bernabei, CEO of Enel Green Power. 

The Nxuba wind farm will avoid the emission of approximately 460,000 tonnes of CO2 annually. The wind farm will be supported by a 20-year power supply agreement with the South African energy utility Eskom, as part of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) tender, which awarded in April 2015 a total of five wind projects for 700MW to the Enel Group in its fourth round.

The project’s location in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa makes it well suited for wind generation, largely attributed to the strong wind current along the province’s coastline between Cookhouse and the western border of Lesotho. The region is in close proximity to major grid connections, making it convenient to feed energy into South Africa’s national electricity grid.

With the Nxuba wind farm now online, EGP RSA now has eight operational projects in the country, for an overall installed capacity exceeding 650MW. The construction of the Nxuba wind farm involved a significant skills transfer element, with EGP RSA enlisting the services of small and medium enterprises from the local Blue Crane Route and Raymond Mhlaba municipalities to assist in the construction. Additionally, the concrete tower sections were manufactured locally in the town of Somerset East.

The facility also involved the implementation of digital tools to perform on-site quality checks and the smart tracking of wind turbine components. Using innovative solutions has allowed for more reliable and precise data collection, thereby improving the overall quality of work while streamlining communications between workers both on- and off-site.

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