Construction of the first commercial-scale wind project in Sudan is expected to start shortly as the single turbine that will form it has arrived, and is on its way to Dongola, Northern State. Construction is estimated to take two to three weeks.
The turbine, which is 63 metres (207ft) tall, was made in the Netherlands by an undisclosed manufacturer. Its rating has also not been disclosed but after connection to the national grid it is expected to provide power to 14 000 people.
Funded by the government of Sudan and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), with support from the UN Development Programme, the turbine is intended to demonstrate the viability of utility-scale wind energy in Africa’s third largest nation.
The project will be used as a showcase for future windfarms across Sudan, in support of the government’s efforts to attract renewable energy investment. It aims to capitalise on the county’s significant wind-energy potential to improve access to energy, diversify Sudan's power sources, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
During the journey via Port Sudan to the windfarm site in Dongola, the turbine travelled 4600 km and took seven vehicles to transport, finishing a 19-day journey from the Netherlands to Port Sudan.
“60% of Sudan’s population lack regular access to energy,” says UNDP’s Resident Representative Yuri Afanasiev. “This exciting update is progress towards new solutions that help move the dial on access to affordable energy, improving health, education, the lives of women, and economic opportunities.” The turbine will also provide training and opportunities to equip engineers with skills to support future wind projects.
UNDP’s support for this initiative is part of its effort to increase access to renewable energy in Sudan, creating opportunities for employment, improved basic services, and strengthening resilience to climate change.
Photo credit: UNDP/Will Seal