Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm project gets going

2013-07-18 10:01
Wind turbines destined for the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm are seen being offloaded from the Rui Ning. (Deugro)

Wind turbines destined for the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm are seen being offloaded from the Rui Ning. (Deugro)

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Cape Town - The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm project is set to begin construction with the arrival of the massive wind turbines.

The turbines arrived at the Port of Ngqura and the components will be transported on 50m trailers from 22 July.

"Our team is committed to making every effort to minimise traffic disruptions during this period," said Mark Pickering, general manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will consist of 60 turbines on a 3 700ha site and the project aims to supply 114 116 homes with electricity.

At the site between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, it is estimated that two turbines will be erected per week in a plan to begin production in 2014.

Siemens will provide, install and commission the wind turbines and will maintain them for the first 10 years of operation.

Renewable energy

This is similar to the Sere Wind Farm under development in Vredendal, 300km from Cape Town.

The transportation of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm project turbines may present a hazard to road users because of the unusually long length of the trailers.

"Due to the length of the transportation vehicles, we urge other road users not overtake, unless in a passing lane or dual carriageway," said Pickering.

As the cost of electricity continues to increase, there has been an accelerated interest in renewable energy solutions, and wind power in particular as it regarded as mature technology.

Wind energy is not without critics who have argued that the massive turbines, which can have a blade length of up to 150m, can kill birds.

A CSIR study found that wind farms in SA presented a low risk to birds, but urged continued monitoring.

"As far as collision mortality for birds is concerned, it is predicted that the project will have a negative impact of low significance (with mitigation). This will have to be verified by post-construction monitoring," the study said.

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Read more on:    siemens  |  port elizabeth  |  renewable energy

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