Perdekraal East Wind Farm installed its forty-eighth and final wind turbine, two weeks ahead of schedule, on March 24.
The final lifting was a celebratory moment for the largely South African crew, who have since left the construction site, in compliance with the Covid-19 lockdown, which came into effect just three days after this milestone.
“While operational wind farms are classified as essential services, being part of the country’s electricity production, supply and maintenance category, the ongoing construction of Perdekraal East Wind Farm has, of necessity, temporarily ceased operations,” said Perdekraal construction project manager Glenn Hobson.
The dedicated turbine installation crew began the erection of the first of its 48 wind turbines on this Western Cape mega-wind-farm project, at the end of August last year.
The crew capitalised on periods of low wind to install all the turbines, completing this operation 13 days ahead of schedule.
“We expected to only complete this major milestone on April 6, so considering the current pandemic, the early completion is an unexpected blessing as we hadn’t anticipated the full impact of the Covid-19 virus,” noted Hobson.
The wind turbines stand 115 m tall to allow for optimum energy production, however, when one of the blades stand vertically, the turbine’s tip height is 168 m.
The three 53.2 m 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 t.