The three billion rand Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, located between the towns of Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp, was officially inaugurated last week.
The Jeffreys Bay region has become a major player in the renewable energy sector.
Built by a consortium led by British company Globeleq, the 138 megawatt (MW) wind farm is one of Africa’s biggest , larger than the 120 MW Ashegoda windfarm that was unveiled by Ethiopia in October 2013, though not as big as the Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco, which started producing energy in April and will eventually generate up to 300 MW of electricity.
The Jeffreys Bay wind farm, comprising sixty 80 metre high turbines spread over 3 700 hectares, will supply enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 100 000 homes a year, helping South Africa to avoid production of 420 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
The facility was built under the government’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers, which aims to add 3 725 MW of wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrating solar power to South Africa’s energy mix.
According to Globeleq, more than 700 people worked on the site during the wind farm’s construction, of whom 45 percent were drawn from the local Jeffreys Bay community.