Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm begins commercial operations
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has proudly announced that it has achieved its Commercial Operations Date on schedule and on budget, an impressive achievement for one of the country’s first and largest wind farms. All 60 turbines were commissioned and connected to the Eskom grid in April and the project satisfied all of Eskoms’ requirements on 15th May. “We are thrilled to have reached this milestone on target and to have met all Eskom’s requirements including Grid Code Compliance,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Kouga Executive Mayor, Booi Koerat has come out in support of the industry, which is benefiting the region as a whole, saying "Wind energy projects are breathing new life into the Eastern Cape economy. In Kouga they have given hope to the unemployed and have inspired our young people to pursue careers in energy-related fields. It is an exciting tim for the Eastern Cape to be at the forefront of developments that will generate the energy required for our country to prosper as a whole."
The Eastern Cape region is benefiting substantially from the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) through economic development and employment opportunities. During Operations, the communities within a 50km radius of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will gain from the Projects Economic Development programs which will include socio economic and enterprise development programs, the Amandla Omoya Community Trust as well as employment and procurement opportunities during operations.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm was one of the first wind projects to supply the Eskom grid with power in the Eastern Cape area. Spanning 3 700 hectares the project began construction December 2012 and now supplies the Eskom 132 kilowatt (kV) grid line. "It is astounding to think that this project was constructed in just eighteen months; this is testament to how swiftly renewable energy can be deployed to help meet the energy needs of this country," said Leo Quinn, Project Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
The Project will generate approximately 460 000 megawatt (MWh) per year, supplying enough clean renewable electrical energy to power more than 100 000 average South African households. Not only will Eskom benefit from the additional power being fed into its constrained grid.
“Our Project has received resounding support from the local municipality and the surrounding communities who supported us throughout the construction phase, for this we most grateful and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” concluded Pickering.