NESA Launches Intership Programme to Support South Africa’s Wind Power Sector

Supporting South Africa’s changing energy landscape, Nordex Energy South Africa is excited to announce the launch of its sector-specific internship programme. This initiative aims to build a skilled pipeline of technicians crucial for achieving the country’s energy goals and transitioning to clean power sources. Targeting young engineers with at least an N4 qualification in Electrical, Mechanical, or Mechatronics disciplines, the programme is a significant step towards bolstering the wind power sector.

“As the energy landscape evolves with the accelerated uptake of renewable energy, the demand for advanced technology that delivers higher power capacity increases, along with the need for skilled technicians to service and manage wind farms. Coupled with data indicating stable and constant growth in wind projects across the country, this means that local OEMs, such as Nordex and our sector counterparts, will play a critical role in stimulating local jobs and enhancing skills,” said Zelrese Brair, Managing Director of Nordex Energy South Africa.

Launched in November 2023, the programme placed interns across five wind farms in the three Cape provinces. Each intern is paired with an experienced Service Technician mentor for technical support and site dynamics insights. Initially structured for rotations between two wind farms over 18 months, feedback and rapid integration led to the decision to keep interns at their initial locations for the entire duration.

The interns have engaged in various activities, including turbine maintenance, troubleshooting, administrative tasks, and warehouse management. They also prepared presentations on topics like CMS understanding, drive train energy conversion, generator and main converter relationships, yaw system operation, pitch system components, and generator alignment and cooling systems. This opportunity allows these young technicians to showcase their knowledge, communication skills, and overall confidence.

The company measures the impact and effectiveness of this programme through regular catch-ups and an open platform for mentors and interns to voice their opinions and frustrations. These check-ins assess performance and support levels, allowing interns to discuss challenges, which has led to additional training and other improvements.

Several wind farms operated by Nordex have expressed interest in absorbing interns into full-time roles due to their impressive performance, indicating the need for the programme to grow. Lead Technicians have been advocating for more interns, highlighting the programme’s positive impact.

“We see great value in skills development programmes like these to help our sector grow, and hence remain committed to nurturing young talent and providing pathways for them to transition into full-time roles,” concluded Brair.