MetroWind Van Stadens Wind Farm will be located some 30 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s renowned “windy city”, in the remote south-western extremity of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM), on the farm Klein Rietfontein. Most of the area within a 20 kilometre radius of the project site is rural, much of it farmland, with a few small settlements at different income levels, including Blue Horizon Bay and informal settlements where there is a great deal of unemployment, poverty and deprivation.
The Van Stadens Wind Farm
is a best-in-class wind site
Why Van Stadens?
South Africa is richly endowed with some of the best renewable energy resources in the world because of its geographic location and geological formation, and the site of Van Stadens Wind Farm is no exception. Situated on the 34° south latitude and along the country’s southern coast, the Van Stadens location receives an abundant supply of wind from across thousands of kilometres of Atlantic and Indian Ocean, making it a best-in-class wind site.
Van Stadens is favourably and strategically situated in close proximity to the port of Coega and enjoys excellent road infrastructure.
The wind farm will be installed on the crest of a ridge behind the Blue Horizon Bay (BHB) suburb. The views of the ocean enjoyed by the residents of BHB will not be interrupted by the wind farm. The Farm is located on previously transformed agricultural grazing land and is outside any nature reserve, the BHB critical biodiversity area, biodiversity conservation corridor and any areas of high conservation status or species of special concern. The Farm is also outside the primary radar zone and instrument landing system zone of the Port Elizabeth airport as identified by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Air Traffic and Navigation Service, as well as outside the stipulated 6km radius of any small airfield zones.
The MetroWind Van Stadens Wind Farm project underwent the most rigorous geographic information system (GIS) spatial planning and environmental and socio-economic site selection process. The process involved integrated planning with Metro Human Settlements, Land Use and Planning, Electricity and Energy, Infrastructure and Engineering, Environment and Economic Development Directorates in the NMBM and international wind energy specialists. The wind farm project meets every Positive Inclusion Zone Criteria and avoids every Exclusion Zone Criteria, making it strategically the best metro wind farm site.
Positive Inclusion Zone Criteria:
- Wind Resource Analysis and Mapping of high wind resource areas
- Proximity to NMBM grid
- Transformed agricultural grazing land Zoned Agri 1
- Rural Zone
Exclusion Criteria – “no go areas” or land avoided and excluded in site selection
- Urban edge
- Nature reserves
- Critically endangered vegetation types
- High Conservation Status
- Critical Biodiversity Areas
- Biodiversity conservation corridors
- Riverine corridors
- Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Instrument Landing System
- CAA Primary Radar
- CAA small airfield 6km