Home to an abundance of wind resources, South Africa’s Western Cape province is the ideal location for energy-generating wind farms, a number of which are already in operation, and successfully generating electricity.
With a powerful southeaster that blows throughout the summer, as well as winds that blow in different directions when electricity usage is at its highest, the Western Cape’s suitability as a wind farm region is undeniable, as is the role it can help play in growing sustainable energy resources and reducing South Africa’s dependency on imported fossil fuels.
Darling Wind Farm in the Western Cape
Located 70km north of Cape Town, the Darling wind farm was the first of its kind in South Africa. Constructed in 2007 and generating wind energy since 2008, the Darling wind farm was designed to be a learning platform for future renewable energy projects of this nature.
The project was established over 8 months at a cost of R75 million, and comprises 4 wind turbines of 1.3MW. Each year, the wind farm produces 8.6GWh of electricity, which is equivalent to the annual consumption of roughly 700 average households in South Africa. The average wind speeds experienced at the Darling wind farm are 27km/h, and wireless technology enables the site to be monitored and controlled at any time from any part of the world. The next phase of the project will involve the construction of 10 wind generators on the farm.
List of Wind Farms in the Western Cape
- Darling – A ground-breaking wind farm project from the first Independent Power Producer, 70km north of Cape Town
- Dassiesklip Wind Energy Facility 5 km west of Caledon in the Western Cape
- 32 MW Excelsior Wind Energy Facility between Uitkyk and Excelsior near Swellendam in the Western Cape
- 138-MW Gouda Wind Farm with 46 AW100/3000 turbines in Drakenstein, 100 kilometers north-west of Cape Town
- The Hopefield Wind Farm near the town of Hopefield in the Western Cape
- The Ishwati Emoyeni Wind Farm Project near Murraysburg in the Western Cape
- 110 megawatts Perdekraal East wind farm located in the Western Cape
- Eskoms 100MW Sere Wind Farm Project near Koekenaap in the Western Cape. A wind farm planned by Eskom in Vredendal, in the Western Cape, and co-funded by the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the Clean Technology Fund.
- West Coast One Wind Farm near Vredenburg, Western Cape
Future wind farms in the Western Cape
The Independent Power Producer programme has been set up to facilitate the development of renewable energy projects in South Africa, in order to help reach the government’s goal of producing 17 800GW of energy from renewable sources by 2030. While this target is dependent on grid infrastructure, institutional investors are being considered as an alternative source of funding in order to help meet this necessary goal, and drive the growth of renewable energy in South Africa.
Learn more about the Independent Power Producer programme, as well as the stakeholders involved in setting up new wind farms in the Western Cape and throughout South Africa, or buy a wind turbine of your own in the Western Cape and start making a valuable contribution towards our country’s sustainable future.