Gibson Bay: Wind Power in Record Time
The plant that Enel Green Power recently launched in South Africa came into commercial operation earlier than planned, with final costs under the estimated budget and the pride of a worksite with zero accidents during construction
The latest pride and joy of Enel Green Power in South Africa has grown at a record-breaking pace. The Gibson Bay wind farm is a very practical example of the famous words of Benjamin Franklin: “Well done is better than well said”.
It came into commercial operation earlier than planned, with final costs under the budget estimated on paper during the planning phases, and with a level of safety such that no accidents occurred during the construction phase.
The value of the plant, located in the municipality of Kouga in the province of Eastern Cape, goes far beyond the 111 MW of installed capacity, the 420 GWh a year it can produce and the 383 thousand tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided.
Gibson Bay is an example of teamwork, passion for one’s profession and engagement of people beyond the boundaries of the technological project.
“It’s exciting going to work every day in an environment that gives you the opportunity to build something that can change lives and last long enough to le to show your children.”– Boikanyo Mabone, Project Manager EGP at Gibson Bay
Clean Energy and Employment
Gibson Bay is the second wind farm that we’ve brought into operation in South Africa and is out largest of this technology in the country, where we now operate 7 plants with an installed capacity of more than 520 MW between wind and solar energy.
From the inauguration of the Upington photovoltaic field, Enel Green Power’s firstplant connected to the South African grid, to the completion of Gibson Bay wind farm, l three years have passed, during which EGP’s presence in South Africa has grown tremendously.
“Our investment in renewable energy has created employment opportunities and new skills in South Africa.”– William Price, EGP Country Manager for South Africa
The wind farm is supported by a 20-year energy supply agreement with the South African utility Eskom, signed following a tender from the South African government as part of the REIPPPP Programme (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme), awarded to the Enel Group.
Not Only Technology
The construction of Gibson Bay has given us the chance to form close relationships with the local communities.
As is now customary for EGP in all the countries and projects where it is involved, in the case of the wind farm in the municipality of Kouga, we didn’t just bring technology.Alongside the 37 turbines, the 50 Km of electrical cables we worked with communities using our Creating Shared Value model.
“Together with the local NGO Soul Provider we supported a school nutrition programme that has reached 2850 children in the area of Port Elizabeth.”
Our commitment to the youth of South Africa has also led us to launch a project that will provide free Wi-Fi to schools in the most disadvantaged areas, with about 1,000 students.
The Gibson Bay project has also given us the opportunity to improve the infrastructure of the area by building, among other things, more than 40 Km of road that will contribute to circulation, with economic and social benefits for the entire population.