All 34 wind farms providing power to South Africa

There are currently 34 operational wind farms adding a combined capacity of more than 3,400MW to South Africa’s electricity grid, according to the Department of Energy’s IPP Projects website and official Eskom data.

Independent Power Producers (IPPs) own all but one of these facilities. These IPPs, in turn, sell their electricity to Eskom.

The only Eskom-owned wind power station is the Sere Wind Farm near Vredendal in the Western Cape, which contributes roughly 105MW.

Wind farms consist of numerous turbines with three large blades turned by wind.

The turbines are connected to a drive shaft which turns an electric generator to produce electricity.

Each wind farm can have tens or even hundreds of turbines with outputs typically around 2–3 MW each.

The biggest wind power facility in the country is actually two adjacent farms — Khobab and Loeriesfontein 2 in the Northern Cape.

These two farms have 122 Siemens SWT-2.3-108 turbines between them, providing a maximum generating capacity of roughly 283MW.

The turbines on these farms stand 152 metres tall when measured from the ground to the tip of their blades at the highest rotation point.

There are several other large wind farms in South Africa with capacities between 135MW and 140MW.

According to Eskom’s data, the combined capacity of the wind farms connected to its grid is 3,443MW, while the Department of Energy’s list shows it being closer to 3,309MW.

The discrepancy might be due to additional capacity coming online at some wind farms that were not updated on the department’s database.

Assuming the combined capacity is 3,443MW, and each turbine contributes roughly 2–3MW, there could be anywhere between 1,148 and 1,722 turbines in the country.

Khobab 2
Wind turbine under construction at Khobab Wind Farm.

Concentrated in the Cape

All wind farms providing power to Eskom’s grid are located in the Cape provinces, which are generally more windy than other locations in the country.

The Northern Cape’s dry and sunny weather also makes it attractive for solar power stations.

Wind farms have one major advantage over solar power — they can provide power at night, including during the evening peak electricity demand periods that put a strain on Eskom’s coal fleet.

For large-scale installations, wind power also works out to be more cost-effective than big solar farms. The latter is ideal for smaller installations closer to the targeted customer — like on a rooftop.

According to EDF Energy, wind farms operate at an average efficiency between 30–45% of their nameplate capacity.

However, they can contribute much more than this at certain times, as shown in Eskom’s publicly available renewable generation data portal.

The highest amount of wind power contributed during 2023 was 3,102.2MW, roughly 90% of the total installed capacity.

Wind farm in the Western Cape

Unfortunately, the high concentration of renewable power stations in the Cape provinces has led to Eskom running out of transmission capacity in this part of the country.

In 2022, not a single additional megawatt of wind capacity was added to the grid due to this limitation.

Eskom desperately needs to expand its transmission network — which it estimates will cost R210 billion — to enable more approved renewable IPPs to eventually connect to the national power grid.

It is hoped that spinning off Eskom’s transmission division into a separate company will help unlock the necessary investment to make this possible.

According to the energy department’s IPP database, seven additional wind farms are currently under construction in the Cape provinces, which will provide a further 780MW of capacity.

Another six wind farm projects are yet to reach financial close. If they succeed, they will add another 824MW once operational.

The table below summarises the locations and capacities of all of South Africa’s wind farms providing power to the national grid.

Wind farms in South Africa
Name Location/Nearest Town Province Maximum output
Amakhala Emoyeni Bedford Eastern Cape 131.05MW
Aurora Wind Power Vredenburg Western Cape 90.82MW
Chaba Wind Farm Komga Eastern Cape 21MW
Cookhouse Wind Farm Cookhouse Eastern Cape 135.8MW
Copperton Windfarm Copperton Northern Cape 102MW
Dassieklip Wind Energy Facility Caledon Western Cape 27MW
Dorper Wind Farm Molteno Eastern Cape 97.53MW
Excelsior Wind Energy Facility Swellendam Western Cape 31.9MW
Garob Wind Farm Copperton Northern Cape 135.93MW
Golden Valley Wind Cookhouse Eastern Cape 117.72MW
Gouda Wind Project Gouda Western Cape 135.5MW
Grassridge Wind Farm Coega Eastern Cape 59.8MW
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm Jeffreys Bay Eastern Cape 135.11MW
Kangnas Wind Farm Springbok Northern Cape 136.7MW
Khobab Wind Farm Loeriesfontein Northern Cape 137.74MW
Kouga Wind Farm Humansdorp Eastern Cape 77.7MW
Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm Loeriesfontein Northern Cape 138.23MW
Longyuan Mulilo De Aar Maanhaarberg Wind Energy Facility De Aar Northern Cape 96.48MW
Longyuan Mulilo Green Energy De Aar 2 North Wind Energy Facility De Aar Northern Cape 138.96MW
Metrowind Van Stadens Wind Farm Port Elizabeth Eastern Cape 27MW
Nobelsfontein Phase 1 Victoria West Northern Cape 73.8MW
Nojoli Wind Farm Cookhouse Eastern Cape 86.6MW
Noupoort Wind Farm Noupoort Northern Cape 79.05MW
Nxuba Wind Farm Cookhouse Eastern Cape 138.9MW
Oyster Bay Wind Farm Humansdorp Eastern Cape 140MW
Perdekraal East Wind Farm Touwsrivier Western Cape 107.76MW
Red Cap – Gibson Bay Humansdorp Eastern Cape 108.25MW
Roggeveld Wind Farm Sutherland Northern Cape 140MW
Sere Wind Farm Vredendal Western Cape 105.8MW
The Karusa Wind Farm Sutherland Northern Cape 139.8MW
Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm Clarkson Eastern Cape 93.68MW
Umoya Energy Wind Farm Hopefield Western Cape 65.4MW
Waainek Wind Farm Grahamstown Eastern Cape 23.28MW
Wesley-Ciskei Hamburg Eastern Cape 32.7MW
Total installed wind capacity (based on IPP website) 3,308.99MW
Total installed wind capacity (based on Eskom data portal) 3,442.6MW

Now read: Back to square one

Latest news

Partner Content

Show comments

Recommended

Share this article
All 34 wind farms providing power to South Africa