A quarter into 2024 and the South African private off-taker market is already delivering investment, jobs and commercial agreements. This is reflected in the wind power sector with a leading turbine manufacturer, announcing a 75% increase in its current generation capacity in operation as well as plans to locally manufacture concrete tower sections in the Eastern Cape Province, ushering in the creation of up to 300 jobs within the region.

Nordex Energy South Africa announced that this additional 830MWs of operational capacity, will start feeding into the country’s energy grid by mid-2025, delivering thousands of GWh’s per annum into the private market to help drive industry and economic recovery.

David Moncasi Hortet, Head of Sales, Africa, at Nordex Energy South Africa (NESA), said “Our increased commitment in South Africa, including a significant addition to our order book and growing market share, demonstrates our confidence in the renewable energy sector here. We’re focused on adding valuable energy resources to the country’s grid and supporting the broader shift towards sustainable energy, and delivering jobs.”

This follows closely on the heels of the financial closure of EDF Renewables’ Korosun 2 cluster, developed by EDFR in partnership with Anglo American, under their joint venture, Envusa Energy. These include the Umsobomvu and Hartebeesthoek projects, in the Eastern and Western Cape, which comprises 50 Nordex 5.9MW turbines with a total capacity of 295 MW.

Nordex has similarly confirmed its role in supplying 57 Nordex WTG Delta4000 series turbines for a R9-billion cluster of three wind farms, in the Eastern Cape, with a combined capacity of 336MW, which will make for the largest purely private renewable energy facility in South Africa.

Approximately 1,400 keystones conforming the 57 towers for this cluster of IPPs will be produced locally at a newly established manufacturing facility in Humansdorp, situated around 1.5 hours from the Port of Ngqura. This facility, dedicated to fabricating the 120m high towers, is expected to begin operations by June 2024, with the initial turbine installations scheduled for the latter second half of 2024. The subsequent energy delivery to the grid, anticipated in the second half of 2025, will contribute significantly to mitigating the country’s energy shortages.

NESA is tasked with the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of these wind farms throughout their 20-year lifespan, underscoring the demand for skilled personnel in the sector. “To address the skills gap and meet market demands, we’ve introduced new generation technology that enhances unitary power and initiated an Internship Programme to build a pipeline of future technicians. We are committed to ongoing dialogue and collaboration with key stakeholders to further skills development within the industry,” stated Zelrese Brair, Head of People and Culture at NESA.

To ensure the successful implementation of these projects, Nordex’s local construction operations team has undergone comprehensive training in Spain on the company’s latest wind turbine technology platform. This preparation is essential for meeting the anticipated growth of South Africa’s wind sector and underscores Nordex’s commitment to providing robust construction expertise and support for the country’s renewable energy ambitions.