Grahamstown's energy is supplied by Eskom. In the interests of energy sustainability, a range of alternative energy supplies have been explored locally in order to reduce Rhodes University's and Grahamstown's reliance on unsustainable fossil fuel resources.
The Waainek Wind Farm is located on the Highlands Road, 6 kilometres to the south-west of Grahamstown. Waainek means "windy corner" in Afrikaans.
The 8 wind turbines have been operating commercially since 2016, and feed into the Eskom grid - as per the Power Purchase Agreement. The 8 turbines generate 24.6 MW, which is equivalent to the annual supply for approximately 16,000 households in SA.
The site has an excellent grid factor (‘availability’): at least 35-40% which means that the wind farm produces at full power for 35-40% of the time. (Usually, a site is considered commercially viable if the grid factor is around 27-30%).
26% of the profits are ploughed back into local education through the Makana Winds of Change Community Trust.
More info: Waainek Wind Energy project
In 2015, Cacadu Development Agency proposed a Waste to Energy project to Makana Municipality, which would ultimately benefit financially from the project. It would be developed at no cost for the Municipality; the service provider would carry all the initial cost – feasibility, EIA, etc.
If this project gets off the ground, at least 100 jobs would be created, and it would contribute to the clearing of invader plant species through the Working for Water project. It would also mean the total removal of the landfill site, and mine the waste in the current site.
The proposed establishment of a 3 MW wood-to-energy plant at the Old Power Station in the industrial area of Grahamstown, in collaboration with the Nollen Group and Working for Water, did not come to fruition. It aimed to utilise felled invasive alien trees - a resource that is often left to rot. By removing invasive alien plants - which threaten biodiversity and threaten water resrouces - it would address a major ecological problem in South Africa. At the same time, it would create environmentally friendly fuel sources in an economically sound way, creating jobs and bringing new industry to a town which sees upwards of 70% unemployment.
Go to the Rhodes University ENVIRONMENT front page. Suggestions/Questions? Contact environment(at)ru.ac.za
Last Modified: Mon, 26 Jun 2017 12:07:12 SAST