Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Enviro study into R1,5bn Western Cape wind farm project to start next month

By: Jade Davenport, 28th August 2009

An environmental-impact 
 assessment (EIA) for a
 proposed R1,5-billion 
70 MW wind farm in the vicinity of Darling, in the Western Cape, is expected to begin within the next month.

Oelsner Group CEO Hermann Oelsner elaborates that the proposed wind farm will be located on the State-owned Langefontein farm, near Darling, which was once the site of an apartheid-era military radio station.

Oelsner explains that the company won the tender to develop a wind farm on the property in 2004. 
Since that time, the group has been actively developing project plans, engaging with suppliers and seeking out investors.

Significantly, Oelsner enthuses that funding for the R1,5-billion wind farm has already been secured from a Europe-based 
utility, which cannot be named at this point.

“The European utility 
will be financing the project in order to support green energy and to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions,” explains Oelsner.

“By funding such a project, the European utility will be able to claim carbon credits once the wind farm is operational.”

Apart from securing funding for the project, Oelsner Group has 
finalised a procurement agreement with a France-based wind turbine manufacturer.

It is envisaged that twenty-eight 
2,5-MW turbines will be procured 
to generate the anticipated 70 MW.

The Langefontein farm is 
situated in a known windy area 
on the West Coast with wind speeds of 6 m/s and higher.

The proposed wind farm will also be situated near the existing 5,2-MW Darling wind farm, which was commissioned in May last year.

Apart from undertaking an EIA for the 70-MW wind energy project, Oelsner confides that his company is also investigating a 
50-MW concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) project on the same property.

This project is still at an early stage of development, however, Oelsner expects that an EIA 
for that project will start this 
year.