Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsCookhouse Wind Farm
The largest wind farm in the country, if not the continent, the Cookhouse wind farm has a 138.6 MW capacity, only just pipping JBay's wind farm at the post as far as capacity is concerned(Jeffreys Bay wind farm is just around the metaphorical corner from it - they're both in the Eastern Cape, if a few hours apart).
Jeffreys Bay's wind farm might have fewer turbines, but the megawatt power of each turbine is higher, so the 60 turbines that languidly turn above the sea line produce 138 MW of electricity. What's more, the turbines lie on either side of the N2 where everyone can see them.
Wind energy, which has been used for milling grain and pumping water over centuries, has more recently been adopted to generate electricity. For developing countries, like South Africa, it is a no-brainer.
The Cookhouse wind farm lies just outside town, roughly 150 km north-north-east of Port Elizabeth in a part of the Eastern Cape less frequented than JBay. Its 66 turbines stand 80 metres high and produce enough electricity to power 138 000 low-income homes, or 57 000 medium-income houses.
Interestingly the Cookhouse wind farm is the first to connect to Eskom's transmission network, linking directly to the Poseidon substation right next door to the site.
The local community within a 50 km radius of the wind farm, benefit from the wind farm. The trustees filter the profits of 15% of the sale of the energy into job creation, education and health care.
Not only is renewable energy 'giving back' to local South Africans, but it is also believed to be stealing the march on coal.
The Guardian commented that South Africa has one of the 'world's most progressive alternative energy plans' with solar, biomass and wind energy systems across the country, all feeding clean energy into the grid.
In less than four years the country has produced 4 322 MW of renewable energy, according to the minister of energy.
By June 2015 wind energy had markedly lowered the price of electricity to 5 US cents per kWh – half the coast of new coal. Despite this, construction on Medupi, the biggest dry cooled coal-fired power station in the world, continues.