Earlier this week, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer visited the Perdekraal East Wind Farm, 80 kilometres north-east of Ceres in the Western Cape. He was accompanied by the Executive Director of Agri Western Cape, Jannie Strydom, the Vice President of Agri Western Cape, Heinie du Toit and the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands, Dr Helena von Schlicht.
The Perdekraal East Wind Farm forms part of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
According to Construction Project Manager, Glen Hobson, the Perdekraal East Wind Farm was constructed by an experienced team, comprising of Siemens, Concor and Conco Consortium.
Hobson: “The 110MW Perdekraal East Wind Farm comprises forty-eight, 115m-high wind turbines. When operating at full capacity, Perdekraal East Wind Farm generates around 368.8 GWh/year of clean, renewable energy per year. It supplies electricity to power up to 111 118 South African homes.”
Commenting on his visit, Minister 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.”
Jannie Strydom, CEO of Agri Western Cape, highlights that while renewable energy is essential, the Agricultural Sector is dependent on a reliable, sustainable source of energy.
Strydom: “We have approximately 240 000 hectares of agricultural land under irrigation in the Western Cape. The Western Cape exports forty-five per cent 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 Western Cape.”
Heinie du Toit, Vice President of Agri Western Cape who farms in the Witzenberg Region concurs.
Du Toit: “We are very fortunate to be able to farm with fruit and vegetables in this region. We have land, and we have water. 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 with the agricultural Sector.”
Dr Helena von Schlicht, the Executive Mayor of the Cape Winelands, said that the wind farm contributed to job creation and Eskom’s capacity to respond to the energy needs of households.
Von Schlicht: “The Wind Farm has created 70 permanent jobs in the Cape Winelands. These jobs bring dignity and well-being to at least 70 families. I was also pleased to hear of the number of households that will benefit from energy generated at this plant.”
Minister Meyer concluded by saying that the project promotes safety, supports job creation and advances dignity and well-being within communities.