As protest over the much-opposed wind farm gather pace, the Kouga Municipality is set to decide whether this controversial project must receive the green light.
The Kouga Municipality’s Standing Committee on Infrastructure Planning and Development will meet today to consider the application from Red Cap Kouga Wind Farm to rezone the areas on which the wind farm’s turbines will be erected near Oyster Bay.
And even if the municipality approves the application from Red Cap, it is clear that the developers of the R2 billion planned wind farm can expect some heavy weather from irate residents.
Fundamental to the opposition to this project is the sensitive nature of the environment in which it is to be erected.
Others are concerned about “visual pollution”, but the dairy farmers of the region look forward to the extra power that the wind turbines will generate.
The Red Cap Kouga wind farm project at Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape is expected to go into operation during the second quarter of 2014 and inject in excess of R250 million into projects that will directly benefit members of historically disadvantaged communities in the region.
The wind farm, which in December 2011 was named as one of the preferred bidders in the Government’s independent power producer procurement programme, will generate 80MW of power and the first phase will consist of 32 turbines close to Oyster Bay.
Besides generating clean and renewable energy, the wind farm project will directly benefit local communities through the Red Cap Kouga Community Development Trust – a broad-based ownership scheme, which will ultimately hold a 26% shareholding in the project company funded through a R120-million Industrial Development Corporation loan.
“The Trust will participate in the revenue stream earned from the sale of electricity. Over the life of the project this will inject in excess of R250 million into health, welfare, education, local infrastructural and enterprise development projects for the direct benefit of the local community, which includes some of the country’s most historically disadvantaged and economically marginalised citizens,” said Mark Tanton of the 100% South Africa-owned and managed renewable energy developer Red Cap Investments.
Red Cap will also supplement these Trust funded programmes with its own community upliftment projects.
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