The South African Kangnas Wind Farm is celebrating the simultaneous completion of two major construction milestones, namely the erection of the first of its 61 wind turbines and the completion of its final turbine foundation.
In a company statement, the Kangnas Wind Farm, situated in South Africa’s Northern Cape, highlighted that both milestones have been completed slightly ahead of schedule and within budget.
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The first wind turbine lifting is a pivotal point in the construction of the wind farm, with the next major construction milestone being the arrival of the main transformer and the energisation of the substation. The turbine assembly takes roughly a day to complete, assuming that the weather is favourable. This time frame includes six hours for the final rotor lifting, in addition to almost three hours of pre-assembly work.
“It’s a remarkable process to watch. The lifting exercise is rather complicated, with one of the two cranes raising the assembled 106-metre diameter rotor with the second crane providing support, this requires great skill and is a really impressive manoeuvre,” explained Cebo Ngcai, the assistant construction project manager for Kangnas Wind Farm.
The final sixty-first foundation was simultaneously poured onsite, ensuring the wind farm’s construction schedule remains on schedule for its anticipated Commercial Operations Date at the end of 2020.
“We are currently providing employment to over two hundred and seventy-five men and women from the surrounding local Springbok community, as this part of the construction process is the most reliant on labour,” added Ngcai.
The wind turbines stand 115m tall to allow for optimum energy production, however, when one of the blades stand vertically, the turbine’s tip height is an impressive 168m high. The three 53,2m blades, made from fibreglass reinforced epoxy, are connected to the rotor at ground level before being lifted to the top of the turbine tower. The heaviest component is the nacelle, which contains the generator and gearbox; and weighs 86 tonnes.
“We are extremely pleased to be on schedule and on budget,” concluded Ngcai.