Kangnas Wind Farm has begun powering South African homes and businesses, less than two and half years after Mainstream embarked on its construction.
The 140 MW project, located near Springbok in the Northern Cape, entered Commercial Operations at the weekend, having earlier passed its performance tests and receiving its licence to supply to national energy grid.
It joins its sister project, Perdekraal East in the Western Cape, which last month became the first ‘Bid Window 4’ wind farm to come on stream under of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
Kangnas’s 61 turbines are now expected to generate more than 513 GWh of clean, renewable energy a year, enough to meet the equivalent annual demand of some 154,625 average-sized households across the region.
They will also help the country in realising its recently stated 2050 Net Zero ambition, eliminating approximately 550,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year when compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.
Developed and built out by Mainstream for our Africa joint venture, Lekela Power, the wind farm will be operated by Mainstream Asset Management South Africa during its 20-year REIPPP contract period.
Construction Project Manager Manie Kotzé, who oversaw the timely delivery despite a 50-day Covid shutdown earlier this year, proudly explained how Kangnas, along with the 11 other BW4 wind farms, promises to boost South Africa’s economic resilience, said “These projects will collectively add 1.3 GW of new wind power capacity onto the national grid at a time when South Africa needs more available energy to support the rebuilding of the country in a post-COVID era.”
Kangnas has already delivered significant benefits to the local economy, with most of its construction workforce being drawn from the neighbouring Nama Khoi Municipal area.
More than 45% of its components were also ‘Made in South Africa’, including turbine towers, a mega transformer and other content previously only available through import.
And the nearby communities of Nababeep, Springbok, Concordia, Matjieskloof, Bergsig, Okiep and Carolusberg will continue to receive support from Mainstream’s social and economic development team, which has been funding a wide range of education, welfare and enterprise projects.
Its Covid relief programme most recently included the provision of ventilators and other equipment to a local healthcare centre in Springbok.
Christo Loots, Mainstream’s Construction Programme Manager, said “As we enter this new phase, we are pleased to note that a number of our impactful development programmes are already in place, all of which drive socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives, in support of local communities.”
The Kangnas Renewable Energy Community Trust is one of several equity partners in the wind farm, which, along with Lekela Power and Mainstream, also include the wholly black-owned South African energy company H1 Holdings, African Rainbow Energy and Power, and Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (South Africa), one of Africa’s largest independent investment managers.