Green energy drives desalination

Niël Terblanché

ELECTRICITY generated by wind turbines will add to the supply of clean energy already used by Orano Mining Namibia to desalinate seawater at its plant near Wlotzkabaken.

InnoSun Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of the French company InnoVent, will start work on the construction of a 10 Mega Watt wind farm at Trekkopje in the Namib Desert.

The aim of the project is to supply clean electricity to the Erongo water desalination plant owned by Orano.

A year ago, InnoSun signed a ten-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Orano Mining for five MW of electricity supplied from a solar power plant. The solar plant already supplies electricity to the desalination plant.

The construction of the wind farm will increase InnoSun Energy Holdings’ installed capacity in Namibia.

Water is a very scarce resource in the Namib Desert and the desalination plant was built to supply fresh water to the Trekkopje uranium mine via 40 kilometres of pipes

The mining development was halted because the uranium deposit was overestimated.

At the time Orano Mining Namibia, formerly Areva Resources Namibia stated that the installation of mining activities will be mothballed until the uranium market is more favourable.

In the meantime, the desalinated water is sold to Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater), which distributes it to Swakopmund, neighbouring mines and other areas in the Erongo region.

The Erongo desalination plant was built at a N$2.5 billion cost.

The Trekkopje wind farm will add to the installed capacity of InnoSun, which already operates the 5 MW Ombepo wind farm.

In total, InnoVent has an installed capacity of 25 MW in Namibia. The company also boasts a portfolio of projects under development in Namibia that will eventually generate 700 MW of electricity.

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