South Africa’s first utility-scale wind farm – the 67MW Hopefield project – has been brought fully into commercial operation, according to Mott MacDonald, which acted as engineer for local owner Umoya Energy.
Commissioning at the Western Cape project has been ongoing for several months, with reports emerging last month that Hopefield had reached completion.
In late 2012 Umoya handed Danish turbine maker Vestas its first firm turbine order in South Africa. Vestas supplied 37 of its V100-1.8MW turbines and EPC services to the project.
Other wind farms, including the 138MW Jeffreys Bay project in Eastern Cape, are due on line in the next few months.
South Africa’s first utility-scale PV project – the 75MW Kalkbult array, developed by Norway’s Scatec Solar – was commissioned last autumn.
South Africa has in recent weeks returned to a programme of government-imposed rolling electricity blackouts, underscoring the importance of the country’s renewables roll-out.