Eastern Cape wind farm on the way

19 July 2012

South African renewable energy company Metrowind will start building a 27-megawatt wind farm outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape in September, the company announced last week.

Metrowind said it had received final approvals from the regulatory authorities and the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to build and operate a R550-million wind farm in Van Stadens, between Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay.

“The farm, to be known as MetroWind Van Stadens Farm, is expected to start supplying the municipality and Eskom with power in October next year,” company director Donald McGillivray told Business Report.

It will be the first full functioning, commercial wind farm in the province.

According to radio station Algoa FM, the company will erect nine 3-megawatt turbines on the farm, which will provide 80-million kilowatt hours a year to the local electricity grid, accounting for nearly half of Nelson Mandela Bay’s 10 percent renewable energy target.

“It’s about clean, renewable energy that’s being generated,” Metrowind director Ian Curry told Algoa FM. “The country’s in dire straits when it comes to generation capacity. We’re adding another 27 MW onto the grid – 80 000 megawat hours of electricity that will provide electricity close to source to around 5 000 to 6 000 homes.

“That energy will be reducing our carbon footprint and saving a lot of water as well,” Curry added.

Metrowind was named as one of 28 preferred bidders after the government called for proposals for the construction and operation of wind farms in the Eastern Cape last year, and has since been granted a generation licence by the National Energy Regulator of SA.

According to Curry, over the 20-year period of its licence, Metrowind will plough an estimated R50-million back into local communities, who will own a 5% stake in Van Stadens Wind Farm through a trust. The company is 35% black-owned.

SAinfo reporter