South Africa-based coal producer Seriti Resources’ green energy unit subsidiary has announced plans to build a wind farm in Mpumalanga.
With an investment of $235 million, the 115-MW project is expected to be the country's largest wind farm. Located in the country's coal-rich Mpumalanga area, the wind farm would provide electricity for mining operations, said the firm’s Chief Financial Officer Doug Gain in Cape Town.
The wind farm is expected to connect into the national grid from 2025, according to Mike Teke, Seriti Resources’ chief executive.
The wind farm will generate about 75% of the electricity needed for Seriti’s coal operations, according to the company. Infrastructure capable of providing 900 MW of green energy will be built over the next few years and the renewable resources unit is in talks with larger customers to buy that power.
Since 2008, South African mining activities have been severely impacted by electricity shortages caused by the failure of state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. to meet demand.
Producers of the dirtiest fossil fuel are considering adopting renewable energy as the country works toward implementing a carbon tax and meeting emission reduction targets.
Renewable energy from Seriti's wind project will be significantly cheaper — up to 40% less expensive — than buying electricity from Eskom, according to Seriti Green Chief Executive Officer Peter Venn.
Last month, the Eskom company got regulatory authority to boost electricity costs by the greatest in more than a decade.