Public hearings into PE wind farm open

2012-03-02 14:16

Port Elizabeth - Public hearings on a new wind farm planned for Port Elizabeth were underway in the city on Friday, the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) said.

The hearings are to test opinion on the building of a wind farm at Blue Horizon Bay, west of Port Elizabeth.

"Wind has been identified as an important way to generate clean electricity, especially in a windy area such as this," Nersa said in a statement.

If the project goes ahead, the nine turbines will have a combined capacity of 27MW and generate 80 000MW hours a year for 20 years.

With another wind farm being built on the other side of Port Elizabeth, the project is set to provide much of the city's power, and also feed power into the national grid.

Nersa said the value of the electricity generated at Blue Horizon Bay would be R92m a year.

Despite the potential benefits, some Port Elizabeth residents were opposed to the development on aesthetic grounds, it said.

  • S - 2012-03-02 14:30

    The best places to erect wind farms, are in front of Luthuli House and Parliament. Those two buildings are known for the constant streams of hot air coming from them.

  • Dennis - 2012-03-02 14:48

    Build ten wind farms in the eastern cape!! That is all the eastern cape is good for !!

  • calliedj - 2012-03-02 15:21

    Well it's a damn-shot prettier than a coal or nuclear power station! Always some moaners about.

      stevie0064 - 2012-03-02 17:01

      I shudder to think what would happen if everyone were to somehow suddenly comprehend the full impact and ramifications of exactly how much CO2 and sulphur the coal-fired power stations pump into the atmosphere on a daily basis. The specialists know, but they are one small voice among a cacophony of millions...

  • Chris - 2012-03-02 16:02

    The problem is it is not a regular source of Power. Denmark has built 9000 turbines and not taken one coal fired generator off the grid! You have the problem of bird strikes - mainly raptors! There is the flicker effect that has adverse effect on people living nearby! And finally please ask Eishkom what is the premium they are going to pay for this "free electricity" that will give you an idea of where our electricity tarrifs are heading!!

      stevie0064 - 2012-03-02 16:26

      The bird strike issue by the turbines themselves is a contentious issue with various studies being conducted on existing facilities. So far it seems that the older turbines of smaller construction that spun faster were the culprits. The much larger modern turbines are more easily seen and avoided by birds and turn slower. In comparison, a colliery feeding a nearby coal-fired power station has several times more bird fatalities just on the access roads for the haul trucks (raptors scavenging from road-kill and then becoming road-kill themselves).

  • stevie0064 - 2012-03-02 16:54

    I'm not involved with this project but I have been (and still am) involved in the visual impact assessments of many other wind and solar energy facilities proposals mostly in the Western Cape, Northern Cape, and a few in the Eastern Cape. If some residents are opposed to the aesthetic intrusion of only 9 turbines (trust me, there are MUCH larger facilities being designed) then their concerns should be adequately addressed in the section of the EIA process regarding visual sensitivity. If such an assessment has not been done, the full EIA process has not been followed for some reason and they would have grounds to challenge the development. Otherwise they need something a little more substantial than "I don't like the look of them" to put the brakes on the development of a strategic resource, especially one as crucial as energy. Personally, if I was a PE resident, I'd be more concerned with who owns and/or operates the facility, who is to be held liable if it fails to deliver the specified energy, and what would the consequences be of such failure entail regarding municipal rates and taxes.

  • clubduvet - 2012-03-02 21:09

    Interesting. I love these wind farms. Living in Germany at the moment (moving back to PE end of March!) and are forever taking pictures of these wind farms. Huge, peaceful and green.

  • spookhuis - 2012-03-05 09:10

    I heard from a shipping agent this weekend that 80 are on the way to SA. One the concerns of the greenies is that the vibration will effect the worms. ( seriously ) The first question i asked was how much vibration do other power generators make?

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