Speaking at a media briefing, she said that although this project was modest in terms of its generation capacity, the timing of the launch of the wind farm was perfect in light of the country's current energy crisis.
The R75-million Darling Wind Farm, located on the windy west coast of the province, was the first renewable energy initiative in the country to produce electricity from wind power on a commercial basis.
To this extent, all the electricity produced at the wind farm would be sold to the City of Cape Town at a premium of 25% as part of a long-term power purchase agreement.
Sonjica explained that the idea for this wind energy project was first conceived in 2000, however, the environmental authorisation process was extremely slow. Construction of the four wind turbines started in 2006 and took two years to complete.
Western Cape MEC for Environmental Affairs and Tourism Tasneem Essop commented that this was a highly significant project for the province.
He stated that the Western Cape had made renewable energy a top priority, as the region was very susceptible to climate change. This was evidenced by the fact that the west coast had experienced a loss of marine life, as well as droughts and flash flooding.
This project was indeed significant as it contributed to the provincial government's target of increasing the generation of renewable energy to 15% by 2014, continued Essop.
Essop added that there was general acknowledgement that the region was the best place for renewable energy investment. Consequently, the South African government was in the process of laying the foundations for a regulatory framework that would create an enabling environment for investment into renewable energy.
Addressing the media, Darling Wind Power CEO Hermann Oelsner stated that there was no question that climate change was a reality and that South Africa would have to increasingly rely on the generation of renewable energy.
Oelsner explained that South Africa had approximately 25 years left of easily extractable coal reserves, and that the supply of oil and gas would rapidly start to dwindle in the near future.
It was, therefore, essential that the country adopt renewable sources of energy as apposed to fossil fuels. In particular, South Africa, with its extensive coastline, had potential for major electricity generation from wind.
"The country has the potential to generate electricity from wind in excess of its current total national power consumption and without the harmful effects of fossil fuels and nuclear-powered generation plants," said Oelsner.
Oelsner cited the example of Germany, which had 18 000 wind turbines, generating a total of 22 000 MW.
This pioneering project was developed by a consortium including the private developer Darling Independent Power Producer, State-owned energy company CEF and the Development Bank of South Africa.
In addition to these groups, the project received considerable support and financial backing from the Government of Denmark, which contributed 15-million Danish krone - equivalent to one third of the total funding of the project.
The South African Ambassador of Denmark Dan Frederiksen stated that this funding was provided as a grant by the Danish International Development Assistance programme of that country's government.
Frederiksen continued that Denmark had pursued a strong focus on renewable energy for the last decade. The country was one of the leading nations in wind power technology, with wind energy contributing 27% to its generation capacity.
Despite the growth in renewable energy in recent years, wind power only contributed less than one percent of the global generation capacity.
Lessons from the pioneering project would be used as a foundation for the acceleration of the development of other green electricity projects in South Africa.
Oelsner concluded that on the back of the successful launch of the Darling Wind Farm, the construction of another 125 MW wind farm further north on the West Coast was currently being investigated by various stakeholders.