R7.5 billion wind farm boost for SA

The Eastern Cape is moving ahead with a R7.5 billion wind farm project in the East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), which aims to produce 3 million kilowatt-hours (3000MWh) per year.

The project was announced by the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo on Thursday (19 March).

Somyo said that the entity, which was working with a local wind turbine manufacturer, would save R98 million in electricity costs over 20 years and strengthen energy security for its industries.

The province’s continuing interest in shale gas, with Somyo saying that the province’s research partner, the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, was “making history” with a first-ever forensic baseline of ground-water chemistry and three-dimensional image of the Karoo’s deep sub-surface.

These developments follow a litany of renewable energy projects taking place in the province, which has seen it develop a sizeable renewable energy footprint with its independent power producers (IPP) securing licenses for 12 wind farms and one solar farm.

Somyo noted that the renewable energy production had the effect of securing electricity supply for the province.

Local content, which was to be procured from within the province, was projected at R7.5 billion and would stimulate the development of localised industries and the green economy, he said.

Already eight manufacturers were established in the province; the three manufacturers are in the East London and Coega Industrial Development zones, and represented a combined investment of over R1 billion.

Energy security has also been given a further boost at the Coega Industrial Development Zone where the R3.5 billion Dedisa Peaking Power Plant confirmed that it expected to go online later this year.

This plant would generate 342MW of electricity through its open-cycle gas turbines.

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R7.5 billion wind farm boost for SA