Jeffery’s Bay Wind Farm, a 138MW power plant located along the N2 highway in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province had its official inauguration last week – Wednesday, 9 July 2014. The R3-billion wind farm, six years in the making, was a product of the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.   The renewable energy generated from the plant is set to meet the electrical power needs of 100 000 South African households.

Mark Pickering, General Manager of the Jefferys Bay Wind Farm, in a press release said “In a country struggling to meet its escalating demands for electricity we are proud to be contributing around 460 000 megawatt hours (MWh) per year of electrical energy to the national grid”

“It’s  remarkable to consider that by the end of this year the country will have more than 400 turbines reaching into the sky, all helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels and precious water in meeting the country’s energy requirements” he continued.

Milestones achieved throughout the project include the assembling of 60 eighty-metre tall turbines, the creation of over 600 jobs during the construction phase of the project – 45% of which were recruited from the local communities in the Kouga municipality. The 31st of April also marked 1,265,065 man hours worked without lost-time incident.

Communities living within a 50km radius of the wind farm will benefit from the socio-economic development programmes to be established, supporting local community development.

“Wind farms across the country, both operational or currently under construction, will invest over R5 billion of their revenue into socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives over the next two decades. They will also create substantial employment opportunities, training and skills transfers. All of which are essential for the future of both the industry and the country” said Pickering.

“Our Project has received resounding support from the Kouga Municipality and the surrounding communities. For this we are most grateful and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship” he concluded.

Globeleq is the majority owner of Jefferys Bay Power (RF) (Pty) and will manage the operation and commercial aspects of the facilities. Old Mutual, Thebe Investment Corporation, Mainstream Renewable Power South Africa, Amandla Omoya Trust, Enzani Molene Holdings and Usizo Engineering comprise the consortium’s additional partners.