Cape Town - The Perdekraal East Wind Farm in the Witzenberg local municipality has added to Eskom’s capacity while creating 70 permanent jobs in the Cape Winelands, according to Cape Winelands mayor Helena von Schlicht.
The farm, launched in October, forms part of the government’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme.
Speaking during a visit to the project by Agriculture MEC Ivan Meyer, Von Schlicht said: “The wind farm has created 70 permanent jobs in the Cape Winelands. These jobs bring dignity and well-being to at least 70 families.”
“Besides job creation, it has contributed to Eskom’s capacity to respond to the energy needs of households."
During the visit, Meyer said: "The power generated by the Perdekraal Wind Farm assists us to achieve safety and security in our agricultural and rural regions. It provides a sustainable energy supply which can support our economic recovery.
“The project supports job creation and advances dignity and well-being within communities,” said Meyer.
Meyer was accompanied by Agri Western Cape chief executive Jannie Strydom, who said: “Renewable energy is essential. The agricultural sector is dependent on a reliable, sustainable source of energy.
“We have approximately 240 000 hectares of agricultural land under irrigation in the Western Cape. The province exports 45% of all agricultural products. A reliable, sustainable source of energy is of great importance to the sector and critical to ensure rural safety in the province,” said Strydom.
Vice-president of Agri Western Cape, Heinie du Toit, who farms in the Witzenberg region, said: “We farm with fruit and vegetables in this region. There is scope to expand our farming operations, but to do so we need a reliable, sustainable energy source. The wind farm highlights what is possible.
“Access to a reliable energy source will enable growth in the agricultural sector,” said Du Toit.
The wind farm’s construction project manager, Glen Hobson, said: “The 110MW wind farm comprises 48, 115m-high wind turbines. When operating at full capacity, it generates around 368.8 GigaWatt hours per year of clean, renewable energy. It supplies electricity to power up to 111 118 South African homes."