West Coast. Exxaro expects first output from wind farm in 2012

November 11, 2010 by: admin

JSE-listed Exxaro Resources, which is investigating a range of renewable energy projects, said it could start generating wind power at its Brand-se-Baai project, on South Africa’s West Coast, within a year and a half, or mid-2012.

Energy growth division business developer Chikoma Kazunga said on Wednesday that the project was in the prefeasibility stage and that the company had only started with the environmental-impact assessment.

An 80-m wind mast, to measure the wind resource, had already been erected on land owned by Exxaro.

“I am confident that we will be able to produce power within the next year and a half,” Kazunga told participants at a Swedish Trade Council energy seminar in Rosebank on Wednesday – the seminar was hosted with the intention of promoting South African and Swedish cooperation in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

He further explained that the company would not use the power for its own needs, but would seek to sell the power under the renewable energy feed-in tarif scheme.

The site was “reasonably close to the grid”, and Kazunga noted that Exxaro was in discussions with Eskom to establish how much capacity the closest substation would be able to absorb.

The wind plant was initially being planned as a 50-MW facility, with an option of increasing capacity to 100 MW should it be feasible.

Brand-se-Baai is located in the Western Cape near to the company’s Namakwa Sands operation, where the company is also investigating cogeneration opportunities from off-gases generated during processes.

This project was at bankable feasibility stage, and the concept study for a 300-MW plant, making use of methane gas, which is currently being flared, for power generation. The power generated would be used by Exxaro for its own operational needs.

The company’s energy growth division was also investigating another wind farm in the Tsitsikamma area, where it would soon erect a measurement mast.

Concentrated solar power was also under investigation in Lephalale, where company was currently conducting a prefeasibility study. Solar-hybrid base-load options were being interrogated, whereby the solar plant would be augmented by gas or another fuel.

Exxaro aimed at producing between 500 MW and 600 MW of clean, renewable energy power by 2015.

The company was also investigating coal-bed methane for power generation in Botswana, as well as a 1 800 MW coal-fired power project in South Africa.

Source engineeringnews.co.za

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