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Kouga wind farm to go ahead

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05 Jul 2011

A new 300 MW wind farm will be built at Kouga in the Eastern Cape by Red Cap Kouga Wind Development Company, which has now been granted the necessary authority by the Department of Environmental Affairs to go ahead with the development.

It will be built in three phases along a stretch of land on the south side of the N2 between St Francis Bay and the Tsitsikamma River. It will have 121 turbines when complete.

Red Cap’s managing director Mark Tanton says that the record of decision from the DEA was received in the middle of June and the company is now awaiting clarity on how the renewable energy procurement programme will affect the price that is paid to Red Cap for the electricity it generates.

It must now finalise a power purchase agreement with the National Electricity Regulator for the electricity that it generates. Evolution One, a clean energy development private equity fund agreed to invest R146-million in the wind farm project.

The wind farm project will see 27 turbines being erected close to Cape St Francis and Paradise Beach, a further 41 turbines at Oyster Bay and 53 turbines close to the mouth of the Tsitsikamma River.

According to the Environmental Impact Assessment, Eskom indicated that it will take responsibility for connecting the wind farm to the national electricity grid and the utility will erect a 66kVA line to carry electrical power to the grid.

Each turbine will have a maximum height of about 160 metres and will result in a marked change to the visual landscape of the area, prompting St Francis Bay residents to object to the development.

The EIA points out that while there will be a number of negative impacts resulting from the construction of the new wind farm, the positive cumulative impacts outweigh the negative ones. 

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