West Coast properties owners are dismayed by the prospect of having a new wind farm in Parternoster, Western Cape and are determined to prevent the huge turbines from being erected near the town.
A wind farm covering 55 sq km is planned for the West Coast but Paternoster residents say “not in my back yard” and object to its development.
The wind farm – known as West Coast One – is just one of several that have been planned for the West Coast region and it has been given environmental approval by the Department of Environment Affairs.
The developers, Moyeng Energy, jointly owned by Investec Bank and French group GDF Suez, plan to build 55 turbines near Paternoster. Each turbine is about 80 metres tall and once complete the wind farm will cover an area of 55 square kilometres.
Residents in the small town are trying to mount an appeal against the environmental approval and if this is unsuccessful they intend to take legal action to prevent the development from going ahead. According to Andre Kleynhans, chairman of the Paternoster Ratepayers’ Association the wind farm will destroy the natural charm of this fishing village.
He says that there are many other suitable sites for a wind farm and that many farmers with large tracts of land would welcome the notion of selling the land and erecting turbines to generate electricity.
The government has a target to generate 10 000 GigaWatt hours of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2013 and most of the renewable energy is expected to come from private public partnerships.
The developers say that Paternoster is ideal for a wind farm because the wind levels are consistently good and the town is close to the Eskom grid.
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