After considering many factors, Vestas the world leader in wind energy, has recently established an office in South Africa that will support business development around the continent and play a role in helping develop the wind energy and renewable industries in the region.
Nearly a decade after installing South Africa’s first turbines for Eskom at Klipheuwel in the Western Cape and years of observing South Africa’s energy needs, Vestas is confident that wind energy can make a substantial and immediate impact, playing a leading role, in helping the country meet its renewable energy targets. For example, a 100 MW wind farm with fifty V90-2MW turbines can provide 9 per cent of South Africa’s current renewable energy targets. And Vestas’ most recent project, a V90-1.8MW turbine that was installed for Electrawinds at Coega in Port Elizabeth, will generate enough power to provide electricity to 2,400 South African families every year.
According to Daniel B. Kurylo, Business Development Manager for Southern Africa, Vestas is committed to providing its experience and knowledge to support the development of renewable energy policy and regulation. It is currently taking a proactive approach to the South African government’s IRP2 planning process by providing feedback and comments on the modelling process. “Our local presence will definitely create green jobs such as turbine installation technicians, service technicians, sales and administrative staff. And we are dedicated to being directly involved in community development projects near new site construction. Another thing that is very important for future partnerships between Vestas Southern Africa and the community is to have educational scholarships and programs established that develop clear career paths to the industry,” Kurylo explained.
It is predicted that wind will provide at least 10 per cent of the world’s electricity consumption by 2020. This means more countries will be investing in wind power in the nearer future. At present there are over 40,000 Vestas wind turbines around the globe, generating more than 60 million MWh a year, and generating a faster return on investment – the Vestas V90-3.0 MW turbine pays for itself in energy more than 35 times during its lifetime.
Part of Vestas Southern Africa’s immediate commitment to the South African community will not only be to place a strong emphasis on training and developing local partners and sub-contractors but also sharing Vestas’ 30 years of wind energy knowledge and expertise.