An innovative way of generating power without using fossil fuels such as coal is to use wind power. Environmental organizations, individuals and many institutions support this form of power that is generated by wind because it is considered to create less pollution and is clean.
Part of the renewable energy strategy that has been formulated by South Africa’s largest energy supplier, which is Eskom, is to supply 1 600 MW of renewable energy by the year 2025.
The Western Cape is perfect for wind farms due to the fact that the wind is particularly powerful especially the southeaster which is prevalent in that area.
In the year 2002 a pilot wind farm was created and set up at Klipheuwel close to Cape Town – this trial was also the forerunner to the wind farm in Darling which is about 70 kms from Cape Town and is the only other important wind farm in Sough Africa.
Of interest is that wind farm turbines have a limited lifespan but the Klipheuwel wind farm should be able to continue to operate until the year 2026.
The Darling project, however is South Africa’s very first commercial wind farm and has four Danish-designed wind turbines that are about 50 ms high each, an the blades are 31 metres wide. Eskom has been selling the power there since 2008.
Wind energy projects in SA are not advanced and Mainstream Power SA bought extra land in 2010 to erect eight more wind farms – two of them will be situated in the Northern Cape and the balance – six in total – will be erected in the Western Cape.
Due to the fact that the government is not ready yet, has put these projects on hold. Wind power improves the reliability of a power grid and it is likely to wholly replace some conventional power stations with wind farms in the future.