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Hopefield wind farm turbines

First wind farm to reach commercial operation under South Africa’s renewables programme

As owner’s engineer, we helped the first wind farm in South Africa to achieve commercial operation as part of the country’s renewable energy programme.

I would not hesitate to recommend Mott MacDonald as owner's engineer to other wind farm developers.

Sam Cook

Technical manager, Umoya Energy

Located on farm land within the Saldanha Bay municipality in the Western Cape Province, the 66MW Hopefield wind farm consists of 37 x 1.8MW wind turbines and will generate enough electricity to power 70,000 low-income homes in South Africa.

Opportunity

Due to power cuts in the country, the client’s aim was to increase the amount of generated energy for all regions and to produce enough electricity to power 70,000 low income homes. The client required assistance with EPC type contracts and contract administration and, in particular, attention to quality assessment during the construction phase of the wind farm.

Solution

We delivered quality owner’s engineering services during the construction period. We provided a technical advisory role as well as being the employer’s representative during the construction phase:

  • Day to day administration of the project
  • Technical support through employing a project manager, civil engineer, electrical engineer and turbine specialist to be permanent on site
  • Review and comment on designs – in particular turbine foundation design
  • Monitoring progress
  • Witnessed and reported on factory acceptance testing for all turbine components and electrical substation plant
  • Quality assessments
  • Issuance of payment and certificates, reporting to the owner on a monthly basis
  • Advice on FIDIC Silver Book contractual matters and obligations
  • Assistance with principal contractor’s contractual compliance
  • Assessment of claims.

Outcome

Through our multidisciplinary approach, we were able to resource technical specialists and expertise as needed to support the contractor throughout the construction period. Key members of our team, including the project manager, were fluent in Afrikaans, allowing clear communication with local people working on the project. As such, the team was able to work well together to mitigate any problems to ensure the project met its schedule and kept to the budget.

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