Seriti to build South Africa’s largest wind farm to power coal mines

Reference image: Overberg wind farm in Western Cape, South Africa. (Stock photo by Amazing Aerial Agency.)

South African coal producer Seriti Resources has inked a long-term agreement to build the country’s largest wind farm to power its operations.

The 155-megawatt (MW), 4 billion rand ($236 million) project by Seriti’s green energy unit, Seriti Green, will be located in the nation’s coal-rich Mpumalanga province.

Construction of the wind farm will take about two years and it is expected to generate about 75% of the electricity Seriti needs to run its coal mines in South Africa.

The energy produced at the plant is also slated to be cheaper — as much as 40% less expensive — than buying electricity from Eskom, the company said.

“This agreement is a meaningful step that further cements the significance of the inclusion of renewable energy through Seriti Green into the Group’s existing portfolio of high-quality coal assets to lower its carbon footprint and ensure long- term sustainability as a diversified energy producer,” Seriti’s chief executive Mike Teke, said in the statement.

The move is a clear example on an ongoing switch among miners to renewables due to struggling state power utility Eskom’s inability to meet demand.