Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsDorper Wind Farm
Where? Dorper Wind Farm, between Sterkstroom and Molteno, Karoo Heartland, Eastern Cape
How? Call +27 (0)11 783-5223
Up in the Stormberg Mountains, between Sterkstroom and Molteno in the coldest and windiest part of the Eastern Cape, is the 40 turbine-strong Dorper wind farm.
It is an imposing wind farm, one of the biggest in the country, that produces a 100MW boost for state electricity, and is one of the Department of Energy's first-window projects of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The wind farm is a partnership between Japan's Sumitomo Corporation and a local developer, Rainmaker Energy.
Dorper straddles three (windy) sheep and cattle farms in the Stormberg region. The turbines are huge and incredible to view, the open sky and farmland all you can see for miles around. Wind turbines are quite something to install. Enormous cranes specifically designed for the process must hoist the turbines and then add their blades.
The Dorper wind farm is called such after a particular sheep farmed in the area (a South African sheep bred by crossing Dorset Horn with Blackhead Persian sheep. Consequently about 85% of them have black heads). The Dorper is bred specifically for the mutton market. Interestingly, you find the Dorper sheep in other parts of the world as well.
The local community holds a 10.2% stake in the Dorper wind project.
Other large wind farm projects in South Africa include 70 turbines at the Cookhouse wind farm, and 60 turbines at the Jbay wind farm in the Eastern Cape, and in the Western Cape the 46 turbine-strong Gouda wind farm and the 37 turbine wind farm in Hopefield.