Bid to erect wind measurement mast

Posted On Tuesday, 20 April 2010 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Plans are afoot to construct an 81- metre high wind measurement mast on a farm near Kidd’s Beach that could be the precursor to a fully- fledged wind farm.

EskomPlans are afoot to construct an 81- metre high wind measurement mast on a farm near Kidd’s Beach that could be the precursor to a fully- fledged wind farm.

Howard Ramsden of Terra Power Solutions told the Dispatch this week that the environmental application and authorisation process to put up the mast on Lushington Park farm, just outside Kidd’s Beach was in motion.

At this stage, a background information document has been circulated and the public have been invited to register as interested and affected parties (IAPs). The draft basic assessment report (BAR) will soon be released for a 30-day public review period, during which time a public meeting will be held. The public will be able to submit comments pertaining to the application up until the end of the 30-day public review.

Once the final BAR is updated with the comments received from IAPs during the review period, it will be submitted to the National Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs (Dedea) for review and decision making. Dedea will then issue authorisation should the decision be favourable.

Should environmental authorisation be granted, Terra Power Solutions will erect the mast where it will collect data for 12 to 18 months. The entire structure, including guy wires and foundations, will cover an area of approximately 272m².

It will measure wind speed and strength – all in a bid to ascertain whether it would be worthwhile to establish a wind farm on the property.

Should this happen, a best case scenario would be that the wind farm – or “wind energy facilitator”, as Ramsden prefers – would be operational within two years.

What does this mean, besides a skyline broken by 80m high towers topped with rotational blades spanning over 40m?

A wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used for production of electric power. Individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage power collection system and communications network. At a substation, this medium voltage electrical current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage transmission system. There is a substation in close proximity to the Lushington site.

Ramsden is hoping that Eskom will buy the “green energy” supplied by the farm to supplement the country’s power supply.

“We aim to supply to the grid to alleviate the current capacity crisis and we also wanted to involve communities in a solution,” Ramsden, who is also the director of the South African Wind Energy Association, said.

The company – which has set up masts around the country – chose to set up the mast at Lushington Park because the area experiences many windy days and there is low population density.

“There will be little disturbance to the environment and we will take into account the fauna and flora in the area and the visual impact on the local community,” Ramsden promised.

Companies in the Eastern Cape will also be able to buy “green energy” – energy that is produced in a manner that has less of a negative impact to the environment than energy sources like fossil fuels.

Dedea spokesperson Sixolile Makaula said the department supports the efforts of looking to provide alternative energy to the province.

“Wind farms have been identified among sources of generating electricity, which is much needed for household and industrial purposes,” Makaula said.

“Dedea, through its environmental management section, will look at the application to erect the wind mast with the aim of ensuring that it conforms to the legislation and also is a viable proposition.”

The Dispatch also sent questions to Eskom, but had not received a response by afternoon.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 20:09

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