South Africa is now home to one of the largest wind farms in all of Africa. The farm produces 138 megawatts of electricity and is located between the cities of Jeffrey’s Bay and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape province.
The private power generation company in Africa, Globeleq, led the creation of the farm. It consists of 60 turbines that are 80 meters tall, and cover a span of 3,700 hectares. The turbines will provide enough clean, renewable energy to power 100,000 South African homes each year.
South Africa’s current means of production of energy is producing carbon dioxide. With the implementation of this wind farm, the country can avoid producing 420,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
Renewable energy sources are a fairly new phenomenon in Africa, but they are proving to be extremely powerful and efficient. Mikael Karlsson, Globeleq’s CEO, said, “[The Jeffrey’s Bay Wind Farm] demonstrates significant support for independent private power producers in the region and indicates the sustainability of the renewable energy sector.”
He continued to discuss the return to the community that this project will provide: “A percentage of the project’s operational revenues will be reinvested into the local community through socio-economic and enterprise development programmes, creating the skills needed to support the growth of the renewable energy industry in South Africa.”
The Jeffrey’s Bay Wind Farm is currently the second biggest on the continent. It is bigger than the 120-megawatt Ashegoda farm in Ethiopia, but the Tarfaya farm in southwestern Morocco will generate up to 300 megawatts of electricity annually.
The wind farm is a part of South Africa’s latest attempt at using renewable energy. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (RE-IPP) program, which began in 2011, is focusing on solar and wind energy projects. Over the past several months, solar power projects have been implemented across the country, entering South Africa into the world’s top 10 utility solar power markets. The same accolades can be expected with the continued growth of wind energy projects.