3 June 2008 – The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will hold public hearings on Thursday in Pretoria to consider the proposed Eskom wind farm, to be constructed near Koekenaap, in the Vredendal area of the Western Cape.

The project would involve the development of a wind farm with an initial capacity of 100 MW, which was likely to be increased to 200 MW. The plant would enable the storage of renewable energy for use during the evening peak demand.

The wind farm was expected to be operational by early 2010 and would be South Africa’s second commercial wind farm, following the launch of the first such wind farm near Darling, in the Western Cape, recently.

Eskom had signed a financing framework-agreement for a 20-year US$150 million loan with French development agency Agence Française de Dèveloppement (AFD) for partial financing of the Koekenaap wind-farm project.

The agreement required of Eskom to make an effort to provide for local industries and the workforce in the tender structure.

In 2007, Eskom had embarked on an investigation into possible renewable energy options with plans to boost its power generation from these sources to 1 500 MW, which would mainly be used for peaking power requirements.

The Darling wind farm project was a public-private partnership between the Department of Minerals and Energy, the Central Energy Fund, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and the Darling Independent Power Producing Company.

It uses four 1.3-MW wind turbines to generate an expected 13.2-GW hours of electricity a year.