Wind farm gets the go-ahead

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

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

“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.

Sere is the Nama word for “cool breeze”.

Eskom said the wind farm, to be located near Koekenaap, would generate up to 100MW of power for the national grid, and would avoid nearly 4.7 million tons of carbon emissions over 20 years.

The project was funded by a group of development finance institutions, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund, and Agence Francaise de Developpement.

“We are very pleased that we have been able to take advantage of attractive financing from international development finance institutions to construct the project at costs which compare favourably with the market,” Dames said.

The wind farm would be made up of 46 Siemens 2.3-108 wind turbine generators.

The project would include construction of a new substation and of a 132KV distribution line.

It had an expected operating life of 20 years, with average annual energy production of about 233 000MWh, which was enough to power about 97 000 standard homes.

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