Multibillion-rand renewable-energy boost for EC

Multibillion-rand renewable-energy boost for EC

The East London industrial development zone (IDZ) will develop a wind farm that will generate in excess of three-million kilowatt-hours a year of electricity, Eastern Cape Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Sakhumzi Somyo announced on Wednesday.

He said the IDZ, which was working with a local wind turbine manufacturer, would save R98-million in electricity costs over 20 years and would strengthen energy security for industries based at the IDZ.

The Eastern Cape had a sizeable renewable-energy footprint with independent power producers (IPPs) having secured licences for 12 wind farms and one solar farm.

Somyo pointed out that, not only did renewable energy provide security of supply for the province, but IPPs would invest R1.6-billion in enterprise and social development programmes, which would benefit local communities over the 20-year life of the projects.

Local content for these projects, which was to be procured from within the province, was projected at R7.5-billion and would stimulate the development of localised industries and the green economy, said Somyo.

He further noted that the R3.5-billion Dedisa peaking power plant at the Coega IDZ would come on line later this year. The plant would generate 342 MW of electricity through its open-cycle gas turbines.

Somyo added that the agroprocessing and ocean economy sectors were also expected to contribute to economic growth and job creation in the province.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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