Nabrawind and InnoVent install the tallest Africa’s wind turbine in Morocco

Nabrawind and the French developer InnoVent have installed the highest Africa’s wind turbine in InnoVent’s Oualidia wind farm, developed in Morocco. The installation of the turbine was accomplished by the Spanish company with the spectacular self-erection of the full turbine to reach a final hub height of 144 meters. This installation represents a milestone, for the wind energy in Africa, for Nabrawind, which consolidates Nabralift 2.0 market entry, and for InnoVent who is the first company adopting this technology.

This is the first time such a tall tower has been installed without the use of large cranes. During the process, Nabrawind’s self-erecting system lifted the 700-tonne turbine in strong wind conditions, with gusts of up to 15m/s, proving the ability of this new patented process to minimize project delays due to strong winds.

This milestone completes the installation of the first Nabralift tower in Africa and confirms all this new tower technology’s key advantages: significant mass reduction of steel and concrete both in the tower and foundation, craneless self-erection, removal of logistics barriers and minimal environmental footprint.

Furthermore, this project consolidates the good understanding and the partnership between Nabrawind and InnoVent, who are already exploring new projects not only in Morocco, but also in other countries such as France or Namibia. Both companies collaborated back in 2021 to validate Nabrawind’s craneless blade installation system (BladeRunner) in a turbine owned by InnoVent from its windfarm in Bignan (France).

In this regard, Gregoire Verhaeghe, CEO of Innovent, stated that he had “been trying for years to reduce the consumption of concrete and steel required for the installation of InnoVent wind turbines”. He added: “That’s why I decided to trust Nabrawind and to invest in their tripod solution. It divides by eight the quantities of concrete and by two the quantities of steel. I am proud that InnoVent is the first customer of this promising company and I can no longer imagine developing wind farms without this technology”.

Ion Arocena, Nabralift Program Manager, confirms that “this installation, together with the tower designs certificated by DNV for hub heights in the range of 140 to 190, confirms that our tower solution is ready to tackle the cost, logistic and installation challenges of the new generation of high turbines”.

Environmental footprint

Thanks to the extra height coming from the Nabralift tower, this wind turbine will produce 2.500 MW/h extra annually -the consumption of 2000 people in Morocco-, thus contributing to reduce the use of coal (main energy in the Morocco) and saving 2.500 tons of CO2 per year.

To this regard, Arantxa Esparza, Project Manager of this tower installation, stands out that “Nabrawind is very proud of the low footprint of Nabralift technology. The installation of this wind turbine has reduced by a 70% the CO2 footprint if compared to other towers capable of reaching this very same hub height. This has been possible mainly due to the innovative pile foundation implemented in the project, that has only required 80 m3 of concrete and 10 tons of steel, instead of 500 m3 of concrete and 60 tons of steel that a standard gravitational foundation would have needed.”

Finally, the Self-erecting System, manufactured and operated by Navassy (a joint venture owned by Nabrawind, Tetrace and Comansa) not only avoids the use of large cranes but also minimizes the size of the assembly platform. Likewise, the logistics for the Self-erecting System are minimum, reducing the number of trucks by 60% compared to the logistics of a standard crawler crane.

About InnoVent
InnoVent is an independent French renewable energy development company operating in France and Africa, founded in 2001. Thanks to its team of 90 people, InnoVent masters the entire development chain, from preliminary studies to operations and maintenance, including financing. InnoVent achieved consolidated revenues of 55 million euros in 2020.
So far, InnoVent has installed 48 wind farms in France, i.e. 173 wind turbines, mainly in Northern France, Brittany and Normandy.

Over the past 10 years, InnoVent has expanded its activity in Africa, where the company is now present in fifteen countries (Namibia, South Africa, Senegal, Benin, Kenya, etc.), including Morocco. In total, InnoVent has developed 600 MW in France and Africa since its creation, including 300 MW wholly owned.

About Nabrawind Technologies
Nabrawind Technologies S.L. is a Spanish Company founded in 2015 for the design and development of advanced wind technologies.

Nabrawind has developed four innovative products: Nabrajoint, Nabrabase, Nabralift and BladeRunner. Nabrajoint consists of a modular blade joint compatible with any blade that allow manufacturing large blades in separate modules that are assembled on site in a short period of time.

Nabrabase is a very cost competitive alternative in wind farms where the concrete supply may represent a challenge. It is a new wind tower elevation foundation that consists of a tripod installed under the tubular tower, resulting in a hybrid support structure.
Nabralift is a self-erecting tower that can reach heights of 200 meters without the need for large cranes, providing minimum LCOE and breaking logistic and installation barriers.

Finally, BladeRunner is a new blade installation and de-installation system that reduces the cost of blade replacement by 70% compared to maintenance operations carried out with cranes.