The main transformer of the 140 MW Kangnas Wind Farm, on the outskirts of Springbok, in the Northern Cape, was energised on September 21.
The 250 MVA transformer was locally manufactured and was transported to site from Gauteng by road.
Housed at the Groeipunt transmission substation, the transformer receives generated power from the wind farm through a distribution network, where it is responsible to step the voltage up from 132 kV to 220 kV.
“We are grateful to the 97-strong construction crew, which comprises both the wind farm and Groeipunt team, who diligently worked to energise the substation and, hence, complete this key construction milestone, bringing us one step closer to full operations,” says Kangnas wind farm construction project manager Manie Kotzé.
According to Kangnas Wind Farm, the demand for local manufacturers to provide components that were previously only available through import, has steadily increased. This is in line with the Department of Energy’s local content requirements, which have progressively increased with each bid window of the country's renewables procurement programme.
Construction on the wind farm, in the Khoi municipality, got under way in June 2018.
As with all the wind farms that were under construction at the time the country’s national Covid-19 lockdown started at the end of March this year, construction came to a halt and gradually picked up pace after they were allowed to resume activities in May.
“Our team is working tirelessly to try catch up as much of this lost time as possible and expect to start working towards grid connection in the next few weeks, which means that we can begin grid code compliance testing relatively soon,” adds Kotzé.
Renewable energy project developer Conco is responsible for the electrical component of the balance of plant works, including the engineering, procurement and construction, as well as the electrical works, for the wind farm.