Through the contribution of Enel Green Power to the Greater Kromme Stewardship, two new protected areas were recently inaugurated in the South African province of Eastern Cape. A significant achievement made possible by our efforts to combine the safeguarding of the environment and renewable energy.
In South Africa, Enel Green Power’s wind energy provides a great opportunity to protect the environment and conserve biodiversity rich areas.
Thanks to a collaboration between the environmentalist association Kromme Enviro-Trust and the Wind Energy Collective, a consortium that brings together wind farm operators and developers in the Tsitsikamma region of the Eastern Cape, the Greater Kromme Stewardship (GKS) was created.
EGP’s involvement in the Greater Kromme Stewardship means that our wind farms can have a positive impact on the local environment. The environmental approach used is called “biodiversity stewardship” – which is an innovative new legal process by which nature reserves can be declared on private land. Biodiversity stewardship furthers conservation efforts in that it helps ordinary people become responsible stewards of the natural spaces that they own. The Greater Kromme Stewardship has the full support of the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
EGP, through the Gibson Bay and Oyster Bay Wind Farms is part of the Wind Energy Collective and made the decision to be a contributing member of the GKS. The GKS is an innovative organisation aimed at of the protection and conservation of biodiversity and the safeguarding the local population of birds and bats in the Tsitsikamma region.
In recent months, this effort was rewarded with the inauguration of two new protected areas, the Kromensee Nature Reserve and the Sand River Private Nature Reserve, both near St. Francis Bay.
Eastern Cape: Biodiversity and Wind Energy
The Eastern Cape, a province between the Indian Ocean, the mountain Ben Macdhui and the easternmost reaches of the Karoo semi-desert, is one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity in South Africa, with a multitude of environments, ecosystems and animal species.
The Eastern Cape is also the province with the highest wind resource in South Africa with many wind farms operating and currently under development in the area. For this reason, the Wind Energy Collective was established. The Collective includes five wind plants, including two belonging to Enel Green Power: Gibson Bay and Oyster Bay, both not far from St. Francis Bay.
Gibson Bay is currently EGP’s largest plant in the country, with 111 MW of installed power.
Oyster Bay is still under construction. Once completed, it will have an installed capacity of 140 MW, able to guarantee EGP’s leadership in South Africa, where it is the main supplier of renewable energy for the public provider Eskom.
Wind Energy that Protects the Environment
The Gibson Bay and Oyster Bay plants have allowed us to really get to know the environment of the Eastern Cape, to then enact our innovative approach of “biodiversity management”, made possible by our collaboration with the Greater Kromme Stewardship.
Support for biodiversity is one of the pillars of Enel Green Power’s business, in line with the 15th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) from the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
Enel Green Power is proud to be part of this initiative.
EGP is represented by Head of Sustainability Lizeka Dlepu and Business Development’s Trenisha Singh as board members on the Greater Kromme Stewardship.