[ACCI-CAVIE] In an announcement which paints a relatively clear picture of South African green energy transition, electricity generated from the country’s largest wind farm, which is set to come online in 2025, will be used to power a coal mine.
South African coal mining company Seriti Resources has announced that its renewable energy subsidiary, Seriti Green, is set to begin construction on the country’s largest wind farm.
The 155MW wind farm will be built in the country’s east, in the province of Mpumalanga, and will begin generating power in 2025.
Seriti also revealed that the power generated from the wind farm has already been spoken for through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to power Seriti Resources’ nearby coal mining operations.
Billed as part of Seriti Resources’ larger renewable energy and carbon reduction plans, the good news is that the 155MW wind farm is only the first phase of a larger, 900MW renewable energy project.
The so-called Ummbila Emoyeni is a planned renewable energy cluster located between Bethal and Morgenzon in Mpumalanga, and will consist of 750MW of wind energy generation and 150MW of solar PV.
“It is fitting, we think, that this project will be developed in Mpumalanga, the home of coal mining and Seriti’s own operations,” said Mike Teke, CEO of Seriti Resources.
“We are very mindful of the need for a just energy transition, where the needs of and responsibilities to those most immediately affected – employees, communities and beyond – are considered and planned for. This is just a first step for Seriti Green.”
The wind farm and future renewable energy cluster are also designed as an important step in fulfilling the commitments made in a joint memorandum of understanding between Seriti Resources, fellow South African coal mining company Exxaro, and South African electric utility Eskom.
Signed in October 2021, the MoU basically commits the three companies to developing, cooperatively and independently, renewable energy projects to lower their carbon footprint at operations across the country.
Beyond renewable energy capacity additions, Seriti Resources and Exxaro both hope to reduce their emissions by varying degrees by the end of the decade.
By Joshua S Hill & LB