Vestas has successfully commissioned its wind turbine in South Africa as it opened a permanent office there in anticipation of a growing market.
Vestas’s 1.8-megawatt wind turbine set up in the Coega area of Port Elizabeth is part of a 25-turbine project that Belgian projects developer Electrawinds plans to complete by 2011. It is planned to be the first commercial wind farm in South Africa.
The project is Electrawinds’ first project in the country with the Danish wind company. Electrawinds, based in Ostend, focuses especially on emerging renewable energy markets.
Electrawinds will donate the electricity from the single turbine to the Nelson Mandela Bay football stadium in Port Elizabeth, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The turbine is designed to work in sites of medium winds.
Revenues of the African wind market are expected to grow from 8.4 million in 2008 to 4.3 million by 2015. Vestas, which has been active in the region for the past five years, said the new office represents more concrete commitment to the region over the long term. Vestas delivered 5 MW of wind capacity last year to Africa.
“Vestas sees Southern Africa – and South Africa in particular – as key emerging markets for us and as leaders in the development of wind energy in Africa,” said Hans Jörn Rieks, president of Vestas Central Europe.
“South Africa has made a solid commitment to a clean energy future and we want to build strong and constructive partnerships with customers, government, the energy industry and the sustainable development community to build a sustainable wind industry,” Mr. Rieks said.
Last week, the wind industry leader poured .3 million into research and development to drive down costs for wind power.