Erongo RED plans renewable energy generation projects

21 Sep 2016 14:27pm
WALVIS BAY, 21 SEP (NAMPA) - The Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor (Erongo RED) will in 2017 embark on a number of renewable energy generation projects that will include solar, wind and waste-to-energy methods.
Erongo RED Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Robert Kahimise said at Walvis Bay on Monday during the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with OLC Arandis Solar Energy, that the projects are meant to compliment the already existing power supply.
This, he said is geared towards meeting the ever-increasing demand for energy, especially for economically expanding Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.
“Although these projects are not yet approved by the board of directors, our engineers are already busy with the planning and design; soon we will go on tender,” Kahimise explained.
The renewable energy projects include the re-powering of the 220 Kilowatts (KW) wind powered plant outside Walvis Bay, which was established in 2005 but stopped working six months ago because it is broken.
New parts of the wind turbine will be bought before it is upgraded and used to feed power into the Erongo RED grid again.
A waste-to-energy power generation project is also expected in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, where garbage instead of coal or oil is burnt to produce steam that powers a turbine to produce electricity.
Henties Bay will also see a wind powered energy generation plant, while solar power plants will be established in Karibib, Okombahe and Omaruru.
Asked whether waste-to-energy and biomass burning might pollute the air, Kahimise said all protocol and procedures will be followed before such projects are commissioned for tendering.
“We will make sure that all the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) are done and the projects are given a go-ahead by the Ministry of Environment before any work start.”
Kahimise said they have already started with a number of strategic projects to ensure that the company is geared to meet the increased demand for electricity and overcome constraints on the network.
He said a network upgrade for Henties Bay is complete and the Walvis Bay bulk upgrade is about 98 per cent complete.
The upgrade entails increasing the power capacity in terms of Mega Watts to be able to meet the supply demand.
“We have also done an interim upgrade at Swakopmund with a bulk upgrade planned for the same town very soon. Arandis’ upgrade is also almost complete.”
Other towns to be upgraded are Omaruru and the settlement of Okombahe.
The PPA for 25-years allows Erongo RED to buy power from the OLC Arandis Solar Energy plant and distribute it throughout Arandis.
The ground breaking for this project is expected in November 2016 with operations expected to commence in April 2017.