Cindy Preller and Sue Blaine
THE neighbouring community will soon benefit from the commercial operations of the Metrowind Van Stadens Wind Farm.
Earlier this month the 27MW wind farm started operating commercially, although it had been supplying electricity to the regional grid since late November.
Project manager John McGillivray said the Metrowind Community Trust, which owned 5% of the wind farm, would begin receiving dividends estimated at an internal rate of return of about 16% after the debt service reserve account and shareholders’ loans had been repaid.
“An additional 1.5% of the gross revenue will be used for socio-economic development projects. This is estimated at R1.5-million per year for the 20-year lifespan of the project,” McGillivray said.
The wind farm had been under development since 2006. Construction started in late 2012 after it was selected for the Energy Department’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The R550-million wind farm will supply enough power for about 6000 homes in the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal area.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s energy grid is receiving another injection of wind energy from Umoya Energy’s 37-turbine Hopefield wind farm, 5km from Hopefield on the West Coast.
The wind farm will generate enough electricity to power about 29000 medium-income homes.
The government‚ in its newly released Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity 2010-2030‚ plans for a reduced demand for wind energy‚ from 9200MW to 4360MW‚ just as it cuts projected national capacity requirements to 2030 by 6600MW.
It also moots a delay on a decision on a new nuclear building programme, comment on which closed last week.