95MW Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm established

APRIL 27, 2015

Another wind farm, the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm, is being built in the Tsitsikamma area. The community-driven farm is set to add a further 95MW to the power grid and its 31 turbines are expected to achieve commercial operation by next year.

South African-based resources group Exxaro, together with India-linked Tata Power, are building the wind farm through the Cennergi joint venture. Cennergi is developing the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm together with the Tsitsikamma community.

Exxaro CEO Sipho Nkosi told the SABC; “If you look at the needs of the country, they are so immense. The coming in of independent power producers, they tend to supplement what Eskom are producing. Therefore, that is very important to ensure that there’s sufficient power into the system and also that is important in terms of further growth of the economy of South Africa.”

The farm is expected to empower the local amaMfengu clan, which was forcefully removed from their land in the 1970's before government bought back the land on their behalf as part of the land restitution programme.

It is on this land that the wnd farm will set up. The community has a 25% stake in Cennergi. This project will address the challenges of unemployment and poverty in this area.

Tsitsikamma Development Trust Chairperson, Zilindile Blouw, says the project will help rebuild the community.

“We hope that this project will help us to rebuild the amaMfengu farms. We had everything here but it was destroyed completely. With this project we foresee it will help us to rebuild the community.”

The farm is one of the 19 approved bidders by the Energy Department in terms of its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme. Four of the wind projects are in the Eastern Cape and the other three are in the Western Cape.

There would be significant increase in the local economy through payments of dividends to the community. The money will be used by the community to improve other sectors that they're involved with, especially agriculture.