By Nasi Hako

The latest REIPPP Programme directive substantially changes the wind project capacity range to a maximum of 240MW from its previous 140MW ceiling.
This changing energy landscape, which is defined by the accelerated uptake of renewable energy for the foreseeable future, requires technology that delivers increased power capacity, according to Compton Saunders, Managing Director of Nordex Energy South Africa.
An optimistic wind power procurement environment that is underpinned by three government bid windows for renewable energy in close succession, as well as the imminent release of the 513MW energy storage Request for Proposals will require Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to prepare to meet burgeoning market needs.
“This follows global trends, which demonstrates that as markets have matured, wind turbine generators with augmented unitary power are required, to not only deliver better output but relative improved cost,” said Compton Saunders, Managing Director of Nordex Energy South Africa. In preparation to meet market needs, Nordex Energy South Africa has decided to introduce newer generation technology and standardise it across its new wind farms.
The increase in unitary power not only leads to improved energy cost but also reduces land usage and visual impact, as wind farms require fewer wind turbines.
“The Delta 4000 platform incorporates products with a power capacity starting from 4.5MW to 6MW+ with the N163/6X, which is significantly higher than the previous AW platform that had a range of power from 3MW to 3.4MW.
Furthermore, because the platform incorporates different products that share certain sub-components between them, the standardisation eases the Operations and Maintenance of those wind turbines,” explained Saunders.
To deliver on this, the core local construction operations team are currently in Spain to train on Nordex’s updated wind turbine technology in preparation for the exponential growth of South Africa’s wind sector, which will require robust construction expertise.
As stated by the Head of Operations for Nordex Energy South Africa, Innes Louw, the proudly South African team are benefiting from the global exposure and skills that will be brought back to home, in preparation for the expected period of intense construction that the wind sector will soon enter into.
The company sees Bid Windows 5 and 6, as an important link in driving the local value chain, which will directly stimulate the domestic job market. –

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