Darling Wind Farm

Darling Wind Farm

The answer is blowing in the wind

In May, the town of Darling in the West Coast District Municipality became home to South Africa's first wind energy farm.

The R75-million project is the first of its kind in the country to generate electricity from wind power on a commercial basis. In light of South Africa's recent electricity concerns, the global stance on alternative energy production and the forecast success of the project, it could be the first of many.

The wind farm has four turbines and can supply 5.2-megawatts of electricty, all of which will be sold to the City of Cape Town as part of a long-term power purchase agreement. The vast South African coastline, and especially the rugged, wind-battered part of it along the west coast, presents ample opportunity for similar projects to be set up. Investors will be watching the farm in Darling for early signs of success, and when they see them, the WCDM expects a line at the door asking for more.

Bigger and better to come

Already a much larger project is being planned for St Helena Bay - also part of the West Coast District Municipality. The St Helena Bay wind farm project will be running between 18 and 20 wind turbines, compared to the four currently oprating at Darling. These two farms illustrate the point that researchers have been making for some time: the prevailling winds of the Cape west coast are ideal for wind energy generation. And now, with technological advances, and public and private sector backing, this clean, renewable energy source is an economically viable option. For more information on the West Coast region, and potential sites for investment in future wind farms, visit the local municipality pages below:

  • Bergrivier
  • Cederberg
  • Matzikama
  • Saldanha Bay
  • Swartland

International interest

The Darling project was developed by a group consisting of private developers that included an independent power producer in Darling, Darlipp, the Central Energy Fund and the Development Bank of South Africa. A portion of the funding was provided by the Danish International Development Assistance programme of the Danish government.

For more information on the project contact:

Avril Hein at WCDM

Tel+27 22 433 8530

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