South Africa’s wind farms on universal Green map

South Africa is one of more than 75 countries around the world operating wind farms, generating energy from a clean, renewable and free source, the Energy Ministry said in a press release issued on Thursday ahead of the Global Wind Day commemoration.

“Currently there are only eight turbines in the country, but through the Department of Energy’s sophisticated Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), there are currently 15 wind farms under construction with many more in various stages of development,” the release said. [MORE]

The sub-Saharan country’s recognition on the universal Green map comes hardly a month after the launch of the first ever renewable energy project, RustMo1 Solar Farm, in Rusternberg where the government made a commitment to embark on a process of moving away from carbon-intense modes of energy generation.

South Africa has been internationally recognised for its renewable energy investments. Earlier this month, the country became one of the 10 founding members of the Renewables Club, a political initiative of pioneering countries that are united by an important goal: a worldwide transformation of the energy system. The 10 Renewables Club members currently account for more than 40 per cent of global investments in renewable energy.

South Africa has a high level of Renewable Energy potential and presently has in place a target of 10,000 giggawatts of Renewable Energy.

South Africa’s Energy Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters is expected to join South Africa Wind Energy Association and learners in celebrating Global Wind Day in Cape Town on Saturday, the ministry said. An estimated 220 children from Khayelitsha, Langa and Mitchell’s Plain are going to participate in the international initiative celebrating the power that wind energy provides to change the world.


94 MW Western Cape wind project reaches financial close

Terence Creamer | 11th June 2013 | Engineering News

Global energy company GDF Suez has followed up its recent announcement that it will be proceeding with two open-cycle gas-turbines in South Africa with news that it, Investec and Kagiso Tiso Holdings have reached financial close for a €160-million (around R2.2-billion), 94 MW wind project, in the Western Cape.

The project in question is West Coast One, located 130 km north of Cape Town and which is expected to reach commercial operation in mid-2015.

GDF Suez holds a 43% equity interest in the project, Investec, 34.5%, and Kagiso Tiso Holdings, 20%, with the remaining 2.5% to be allocated to a community trust. In addition to investing equity in the project, Investec, jointly with Nedbank, have underwritten approximately R1.5-billion of debt required for the development of the wind farm. Continue reading

Local communities offered more say over wind farms (UK)

Local communities are to be given more powers to block onshore wind farms, but also offered greater incentives to accept them, the government says.

Planning guidance in England will be changed to ensure local opposition can override national energy targets.

But the measures will see a five-fold rise in the benefits paid by developers to communities hosting wind farms.

The subsidies – worth about £100,000 a year from a medium-sized farm – could be used to reduce energy bills.

Alternatively, the money could pay for energy efficiencies in the host community or fund other local initiatives.

The government said the measures would ensure local communities had a greater stake in the planning process.

It said it expected the energy industry to improve its community benefit packages by the end of the year.

Continue reading

Arrival of the First Blades for Cookhouse Wind Farm

Energy Blog | 30 May 2013

The first consignment of 16 turbines from Suzlon’s plant in India, destined for Cookhouse Wind Farm, began to arrive at the deepwater port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape early last month. Presently, Ngqura is the only port suitable for receiving wind turbine blades which, in the case of Cookhouse, are 44 meters in length. Other components, including tower sections, gears and generators will arrive during the coming months as the construction on the wind farm site progresses. Major works have already begun with some of the wind turbine foundations having been excavated. Continue reading

Sere’s costs compare ‘favourably’ with private wind farms

Terence Creamer | 20 May 2013 | Engineering News

State-owned power utility Eskom claimed on Monday that the cost of generating electricity at its R2.4-billion, 100 MW Sere wind farm would compare “favourably” with those achieved by private wind developers during the first two bidding rounds of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The utility added that the project’s total overnight cost of $2 516/kWh was within the International Energy Agency benchmarks and incorporated grid connection costs, including a 45 km transmission line. Continue reading

Eskom wind farm gets green light

SAPA | 20 May 2013 | Times LIVE

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has granted Eskom a licence for its Sere wind farm in the Western Cape, the power parastatal said.

"This is an exciting milestone in Eskom’s move towards a cleaner energy mix," Eskom CEO Brian Dames said in a statement.

"Sere is our first, large-scale, renewable energy project. It demonstrates our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and to investing in a sustainable energy future."

The licence would allow Eskom to start construction of the R2.4 billion project which was expected to deliver its first power to the national grid in the first half of 2014, with full commercial operation by the end of 2014. Continue reading

Siemens to supply wind turbines to Sere farm

Reuters | 17 May 2013 | Mail & Guardian Online

Situated about 16km north of Cape Town, Sere is a flagship project for Eskom – which is weaning itself from an over-reliance on coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Installation of the wind turbines, each reaching a height of 115m, is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2013 and start operating in the first half of 2014.

"We are proud that Eskom chose to partner with Siemens in their first ever utility-size wind project," Tom Pedersen, director of Siemens Wind Power Division for Africa and the Middle East, said in a statement.

Pedersen did not provide a value for the contract. Eskom said previously that $260-million of a $3.75-billion World Bank loan would go towards building Sere and a separate 100MW concentrated solar power plant.