Waainek Wind Farm takes off

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Years since the Innowind Energy Company announced the building of the Waainek Wind farm near Grahamstown, construction has begun at the wind farm site.

Years since the Innowind Energy Company announced the building of the Waainek Wind farm near Grahamstown, construction has begun at the wind farm site.

InnoWind, in collaboration with Makana Winds of Change BBBEE Co, Offtaker and Eskom, says the project, which started earlier this month, will be completed by the end of 2015.

InnoWind is a South African integrated renewable energy company that develops, finances, builds, owns and operates commercial wind-powered generation facilities to supply energy into the national power grid.

The Waainek project was awarded “Preferred Bidder” by the Department of Energy in 2012. When Grocott's Mail visited this week, a wind measuring mast was already erected and the turbines (which will be three times its height) were being readied too, according to wind energy advocate, Garth Cambray.

“Eight wind turbines, equivalent to 24.6 Megawatts, will be placed, which will supply approximately 16 000 South African households.

“Once operational, the Waainek Wind Farm would channel a portion of its revenue towards local enterprises and socio-economic development,” said Cambray. Innowind Project Manager Kevin Monkoff said that the project had been delayed due to lack of funding which they only received in June 2013.

Monkoff said that the initiative would create job opportunities for the whole of Grahamstown.

“Our projects aim to boost the socio-economic performances of the communities living in close proximity to them over the 20 year duration of the power purchase agreement entered into with the national grid operator and supported by government,” Minkoff said.

Monkoff added that the company endeavoured to structure all its projects following a broad-based economic development model by ensuring equity participation in their projects for local impoverished communities located in their vicinity.

“Once the wind farm is constructed and in operation, dividends from the sale of electricity can be spent on specific socio-economic upliftment challenges faced by the community," Monkoff said. Monkoff said that the project would still support the Makana Winds of Change Community Trust.

“The Trust is a 26% shareholder in the wind farm and as such it will benefit from a steady dividend stream throughout the facility’s operation for over twenty years,” he said.

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