Giant Namibian wind farm to generate “green energy” by 2014

WADEBRIDGE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 22:  Grey skies...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Namibia’s first wind park, the Diaz Wind Power Project, could be operational at the southern fishing town of Lüderitz by as early as 2014, according to a project document currently distributed by Enviro Dynamics, one of Namibia’s leading environmental impact research companies. Namibian business giant, the United Africa Group, Sojitz Corporation (Japan) and Korea Midland Power Corporation (South Korea) joined forces with hopes to bring this large-scale wind park to reality.
Informanté learnt through national media campaigns that the Lüderitz community will have an insight and opinion on the project during a public meeting hosted by the research company at the town’s German Hostel today, Thursday 15 September at 18h00.
Enviro Dynamics has indicated that the project would consist of between 18 and 22 huge wind turbines, each towering an impressive 132 meters into the sky. The wind park would have a combined electricity generating capacity of 44 megawatts.
Most components for the wind park will be imported through the port of Lüderitz, and Namibian contractors will be utilized for most of the phases. The access roads and platforms for the turbines will be constructed first. This shall be followed by the assembly of the tower sections and the rotor blades. The last part is the construction of the substation buildings and internal cabling. A power transmission line is also needed to connect the project to the national power grid.
The environmental impact assessment indicates that the best possible location for the project is a site 12km south of Lüderitz, covering a total area of 16 square kilometers. The assessment focuses, among others, on archaeology in the area as well as aviation safety, as the intended site is just eight kilometers from the Lüderitz airport.
According to documents made available to this reporter, it is acknowledged that such a wind park would not be able to compete economically with present sources of electricity generation in Namibia.
The flip-side of the coin though is that Namibia generates its energy mainly from thermal sources. These are the Von Eck coal power plant in Windhoek with a capacity of 120 megawatts, Walvis Bay’s diesel-thermal plant Paratus and soon also the Anixas diesel power station, constructed adjacent to Paratus in Walvis Bay. All these plants contribute to global warming.
The exception to the rule is Namibia’s Ruacana Hydroelectric scheme which generates 240 megawatts and is regarded the only renewable electricity source for the country. Apart from these sources, Namibia relies on electricity imports, mainly from South Africa.
United Africa Group has proven in the past that it can handle projects of this size and magnitude. The group is a major partner in the Areva desalination plant near Wlotzkasbaken on the Namibian coast. This desalination plant is a first for Namibia. Soon followed by yet another first: the wind farm in Lüderitz.

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