Construction has begun on a new wind farm in the Eastern Cape between Cookhouse and Bedford. The wind turbines arrived last week at the Port of Ngqura outside Port Elizabeth generating much excitement for the project.
15 new wind farm bids were awarded by the Department of Energy last year and 10 of those will be in the Eastern Cape. The wind farms have been tied in to benefit the local communities with more than just clean energy. Communities in the neighbourhood of each wind farm will receive a 25% equity in the project, in the form of community trusts that can be used to improve schooling, provide tertiary education bursaries and SME projects.
The Cookhouse wind farm has already started its community education programme with its new information centre, featuring wall graphics, photography and infographics designed by DEEP, to educate the general public on how wind energy works.
The wind farm will begin to produce energy in 2014, We look forward to many more clean energy projects all over South Africa. Now I’m wondering what’s happening about wind energy nearer home in the Western Cape – is the Klipheuwel experimental wind farm going to grow at all? Or are there any new wind farms planned in the region?