22 Sep 2017 07:20am
KEETMANSHOOP, 22 SEP (NAMPA) The University of Namibia (UNAM) and the Lüderitz Town Council (LTC) on Thursday inaugurated a N.dollars 1.3 million wind power plant at the southern coastal town.
The Benguela Wind Power Demonstration Plant was on the same day handed over for use to the low-income urban population of the Benguela residential area.
In a statement, UNAM said the plant supplies affordable wind energy to the residents of the area, of which the majority are women and children.
The plant, initially commissioned as a project during 2012, was coordinated and managed by UNAM through the Science and Technology Division of its Multidisciplinary Research Centre.
It was sponsored by the Government of Finland through the countrys Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The plant operates on five hectares of land donated by the LTC and features three wind turbines installed with the assistance of Kestrel Eveready of South Africa.
The turbines currently provide power to a womens community workshop which hosts four sewing machines, UNAM said.
It has the capacity to produce 3.5 kilowatt (kW) from each turbine, with a total rated power of 10.5 kW, the statement further said.
Five Benguela community technicians received training on the operation and maintenance of the plant.
Lüderitz Mayor Hilaria Mukapuli at the occasion said wind turbines are one of the most environmentally friendly ways of producing affordable electricity.
Lüderitz is fortunate to be one of the towns in Namibia where the wind blows throughout the year. There are substantial challenges to be met, but all appear solvable, the statement quotes her as saying.
UNAM Vice-Chancellor Lazarus Hangula gave the universitys commitment to advancing the project through continued research to ensure its replication in other parts of Namibia.
Energy continues to be on the priority list of Namibias development agenda and UNAM is well positioned to address problems that hamper the achievements of development goals through teaching, research and community engagement projects, he said.
!Nami#nus Constituency Councillor Jan Scholtz said the project will go a long way in empowering the local community in the provision of cheaper electricity.
It will propel us into the position as the national leader in renewable energy, he said.
The project is UNAMs response to the Ministry of Mines and Energys national White Paper on Energy developed in 2000.
The paper called on the diversification and investment of the supply of renewable and sustainable energy particularly to low income populations of Namibia.
The wind power demonstration project aims to provide sufficient and convincing tangible evidence on wind energy generation, UNAM said.