Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsKouga Wind Farm
Where? The Kouga Wind Farm lies between Oyster Bay and St Francis Bay on a series of rolling farmland hills.
How? Call +27 (0)42 294-1929
It was the seventh renewable energy site in the Eastern Cape to go into operation (although at least seventeen are anticipated for the region), and in the Kouga area it is one of three, joining its counterparts the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, and the Oyster Bay Wind Farm, not yet in construction.
The 32 turbine-strong wind farm was developed by the Red Cap Kouga Wind Development Company, and considered their flagship. Costing R2 billion, it now generates enough power for 50 000 average houses and adds about 300 GWh pa of renewable energy to the national power grid. It also mitigates over 270 000 tons of greenhouse gas emission every year.
The wind farm, which employed over 1000 temporary employees during its two year construction, intends contributing over R250 million into local upliftment projects to directly benefit disadvantaged communities in the region. It also set a benchmark for community ownership with the Community Trust holding a 26% shareholding.
The project uses the Melkhout-Kouga overhead line infrastructure to feed into the grid.
South Africa's wind sector is considered one of the most dynamic in the world. Like other emerging countries, like Mexico and Brazil, the country is large, its ability to harness wind as a resource is excellent, and the need for energy is so severe that the growth of the wind sector has been huge.
It strongly challenges the case for nuclear power, in practice, cost and delivery time.
In 2012 South Africa had eight wind towers. By April 2015 there were about 300 wind turbines across the country, with another 500 in construction as part of the governments REIPPPP (the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme).
It helps that the price of wind power is about 40% less than the anticipated cost of coal power from the Medupi power plant. The Minister of Public Enterprises estimated that the cost of load shedding to the country was around R80 billion a month.