The Department of Energy (DoE) on Wednesday released to the public South Africa’s first large-scale high-resolution Wind Resource map – generated from the Wind Atlas for South Africa (Wasa) project launched last year – for research, development and planning of wind farms.
The map aimed to improve the knowledge and quality of resource assessment methods and tools during the planning and development of wind farms and off-grid electrification, while enabling local institutions to undertake wind resource measurements.
The map’s incorporated information, such as ground surface terrain effects, would save time and costs during the planning process as it would accurately determine the local wind climate, identify high-yielding wind development zones and the potential yield of the wind energy resources, as well as estimate available wind energy and capacity.
The Wind Resource map currently covered the Western Cape and parts of the Eastern Cape and Northern Cape provinces; however, following the completion of the second phase of the Wasa project during the current financial year, it would also encompass KwaZulu-Natal, the remaining parts of the Eastern Cape and parts of the Free State provinces.
“The Wind Resource map will be a very useful instrument in the government’s further planning of the efficient use of the country’s wind resources. Also, we expect this new data to serve as an all-important tool in enabling developers to fast-track their own efforts in developing wind farm projects,” said Energy Minister Ben Martins.
The map would feed into the DoE’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which required independent power producers to comply with environmental, agricultural and social criteria.