News and updates from the continent

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm up and running

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm up and running

Jul 21, 2014

Six years in the making, the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, held its inauguration on 9 July 2014. The 138MW power plant is a product of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and will supply enough clean renewable electrical energy to meet the needs of over 100 000 average South African households.

Mark Pickering, general manager of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, said: “In a country struggling to meet its escalating demands for electricity we are proud to be contributing around 460 000 megawatt hours (MWh) per year of electrical energy to the national grid.

“It’s remarkable to consider that by the end of this year the country will have more than 400 turbines reaching into the sky, all helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels and precious water in meeting the country’s energy requirements.”

According to a press release, over the next 20 years communities living within a 50km radius of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will benefit from a range of socio-economic development programmes.

These programmes will focus on early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme; numeracy and literacy interventions at primary school level; mathematics and science programmes at secondary schooling level; and scholarships for engineering-related studies at tertiary level. The company will also establish an enterprise development programme that will initially focus on supporting emerging black farmers in the area.

The Amandla Omoya Community Trust, which owns 6% of the project, will run further developmental programmes to benefit the local community. “It is vital that renewable power brings positive benefits to local communities,” Pickering said. “Wind farms across the country, both operational or currently under construction, will invest over R5 billion of their revenue into socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives over the next two decades. They will also create substantial employment opportunities, training and skills transfers. All of which are essential for the future of both the industry and the country”.

Pickering added that the project had received resounding support from the Kouga Municipality and the surrounding communities.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm milestones

• Construction Commenced: December 2012
• Transportation of the first Turbine Component: 22 July 2013
• First Turbine Erected: 26 September 2013
• All 60 Turbines Erected: 27 February 2013
• Supply Power to Eskom Grid: 20 December 2013
• 1 Million Man Hours Worked without Lost-Time-Incident: 27 December 2014
• 1,265,065 Man Hours Worked without Lost-Time-Incident: 31 April 2014
• Total Jobs Created: At the peak of construction, there were 602 people working on site, 45% of which were from the local communities in the Kouga Municipality.
• Transportation programme completed: 19 February 2014 – having covered over 110 000km
• Fully Commissioned: April 2014
• Commercial Operations Date: 15 May 2014

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