Perdekraal East Wind Farm announced the installation of its 48th wind turbine, two weeks ahead of schedule, on 24 March 2020. 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 regulations, which came into effect just three days after this milestone.
“Whilst 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 Glenn Hobson, the construction project manager for Perdekraal East Wind Farm.
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 worked hard to take advantage of the periods of low wind to install all the turbines, completing this operation thirteen days ahead of schedule.
“We expected to only complete this major milestone on 6 April, 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,” added 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 high. 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 tonnes.
“I am continually impressed by the results that the wind turbine generation lifting teams produce, often under difficult circumstances and within tight deadlines, requiring innovative approaches to the completion of tasks. The pride that the local teams take in their work is truly inspiring and I cannot complement their work ethic highly enough. It has truly been a pleasure working with this team,” concluded Hobson.