While wind energy does not require water for its generation, a moderate amount is required during the construction phase. Despite it being a relatively negligible amount, the conservation of this rare resource at Kangnas Wind Farm – situated within Namaqualand – is managed by onsite environmental officer Marnu Gouws.
Due to the importance of water, its conservation and sustainability is Gouws’s number one priority. “In my opinion, water is one of the most important factors currently on the Kangnas Wind Farm project site, as it’s the life force of the construction processes,” explains Gouws.
Weekly water-usage monitoring is done to ensure that the project remains within the licence stipulations, as provided by the Department of Water and Sanitation. Furthermore, the static water level of the borehole is measured weekly to make sure that the borehole water level isn’t over utilised. Should the level drop, water extraction is halted immediately.
In addition to this, pH and electric conductivity tests are done to determine the water quality. Findings are reported to the Department of Water and Sanitation quarterly, as well as providing water samples to the laboratories, bi-annually.
Independent power producers in NC
Kangnas Wind Farm is situated in the Nama Khoi Municipal area, in the Northern Cape. This province is home to more than half the country’s 112 independent power producers (IPP), with more than 19 projects already connected to the grid with capacity of 900MW. The Northern Cape is the recipient of the majority of IPP’s from the latest bid window, green lighted in April this year, which will bring 15 new wind, solar PV and CSP projects to the province.
Once operational, Kangnas Wind Farm will deliver 140MW of clean renewable power from its sixty-one, 115m-high, wind turbines. It will have the capacity to generate around 563,500MWh of clean renewable energy per year and is expected to supply electricity to power up to 120,000 South African homes.