About Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm

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Project Description

Located between Jeffreys Bay and Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm site spans 3700 hectares.  The site’s optimal wind conditions,...
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Project Fact Sheet

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm This project is one of the first and largest wind farms in South Africa. It is part of the South...
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Construction Process

Construction of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm started in December 2012 and reached Commercial Operations Date mid-2014. The civil and electrical works was done...
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Project Partners

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has been made possible by the dedication and commitment of many participants including the Government of South Africa, the Department...
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About Wind Energy

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How Energy is Created from the Wind

Wind energy is one of the oldest forms of renewable energy generation. Windmills were used to pump water and grind grain in China and...
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The Wind Turbine

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm consists of 60 wind turbines – model Siemens SWT 2.3 MW. These turbines were selected based on the technology’s quality...
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Environmental Impact

The Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm project conducted a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment in 2010, which included public consultation. In 2011, the project received full...
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Environmental Benefits

Wind is a clean, renewable energy source. There are many environmental benefits of wind energy, including: Water saving – wind energy does not consume...
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Why is wind a feasible renewable energy option in South Africa?

Large parts of South Africa’s coastal land, as well as various areas inland, have an economically viable source of wind energy. Furthermore, the scale and maturity of the global wind industry have made it a cost-competitive energy option, compared not just to other renewable technologies but also many fuel-based technologies.

Also with significant local content, these technologies can also raise the employment intensity of the electricity generation sector.

How many wind turbines are sited at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm?

The project comprises of 60 wind turbines.

How big are the wind turbines?

The height and weight statistics of the wind turbines are:

  • a hub height of 80 meters
  • a blade length of 49,5 meters
  • a rotor diameter of 101 metres
  • the rotor weighs 60 tones
  • the nacelle weighs 82 tones
  • the tubular steel tower weighs 162 tones

How do wind turbines operate?

Wind turbines are sophisticated machines with computer controls.
A typical operating sequence is as follows:

  • when the wind speed reaches the cut-in speed of the turbine (usually around 4 metres per second), the turbine blades will spin up to operating speed, usually around 14 to 29 rpm (varies by turbine model), and start generating electricity
  • as the wind speed increases, the generator output increases
  • when the wind speed increases to the rated wind speed (usually around 12-13 metres per second), the generator will output its nameplate-rated capacity (i.e. a 750-kW turbine would now output 750 kW)
  • as the wind speed continues to increase, the generator output will remain at the rated capacity (i.e. 750 kW) until the wind reaches the cut-out speed (usually around 25 metres per second)
  • at this wind speed, the turbine will deploy its tip-brakes and then apply its disk brake, stopping the blades in a few revolutions
  • it will then rotate itself 90 degrees out of the wind and park itself
  • if the wind speed drops to a level below the cut-out speed for a sufficient length of time, the turbine will point itself back into the wind, release the brake, and resume power production.

What happens when the wind doesn’t blow?

By its very nature, wind varies and does not blow consistently all the time. This is why, where the wind turbines are sited is so important; erecting them in an area with prevailing winds ensures that the turbines can generate energy and provide energy to the grid about 90% of the time.

The wind turbine only cuts in (starts operating) when wind speed reaches approximately 13km/h.

Are wind turbines noisy?

Modern wind turbines are not considered noisy; the mechanical (gearbox/ generator) noise and vibration is almost undetectable with the main sound being the aerodynamic swish of the blades passing the turbine tower.

Animals and livestock ignore wind turbines, and continue to graze as they did before wind turbines were installed.

Do wind turbines kill birds?

In answer to the concern that wind turbines kill birds, studies show that birds are seldom bothered by wind turbines and in fact, the number of birds killed by wind turbines is negligible compared to the number that die as a result of other human activities.

Studies from the western part of Denmark, show that birds – by day and night – tend to change their flight route some 100 – 200 metres before the turbine and pass above the turbine at a safe distance.

Bird studies form an integral part of the Environment Impact study and any adverse affects will be highlighted during this stage of the development.

See Denmark Bird Study here.

What happens if turbine throws a blade or a tower collapses, maybe on neighbour’s property or a power line?

When designing the site layout, our team ensured that turbines are located with ample clearance from the border of the property, main roads and power lines so that, in the highly unlikely event that a tower collapses, it will not traverse the border of the property.

Can wind farms affect airport and military radars?

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm doesn’t fall within the ‘radar buffer distance’ and therefore can’t affect any airport or military radars.

What about neighbourhood/community acceptance?

The Environmental Impact Assessment included a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process as a prerequisite.

This process included: community involvement, information evenings, and open communication with all local stakeholders and this played a vital role in achieving neighbour/ community acceptance of a project.

Any objections/ queries from neighbours were made and assessed by the planning and environmental authorities via their standard process.

Our team engaged early on in the project with all local residents and local communities to ensure they are informed and consulted throughout the development, construction and operation stages.

Some people say wind farms are unsightly and create a blot on the landscape?

Research has shown that just as many people like the appearance of wind turbines as dislike them.

What is involved in decommissioning a wind farm?

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has a 20 year lease agreement with Eskom, should the project then need to be decommissioned, it will be done in accordance with the environmental authority’s stipulations.

Typically they will require all visible traces of the wind farm to be removed. This takes care of the turbines. Access roads can be removed, although it may be best to leave them for public or private usage.  The concrete bases can also be removed, but it is often better to leave them under the ground, as this causes fewer disturbances. If the turbine bases are left they would be covered with stone or other indigenous material, and the site returned as closely as practicable to its original state. Wind energy technology is essentially reversible, and compared to the problems associated with decommissioning a nuclear power station, or a coal or gas fired plant, decommissioning a wind farm is straight forward and simple.

How safe is wind energy?

Wind energy is one of the safest energy technologies during the normal operation of the wind turbine.



Measures the wind speed and transmits wind speed data to the controller.


The aerodynamic surface that catches the wind. Most commercial turbines have three blades.

Braking System

A device to slow a wind turbine’s shaft speed down to safe levels electrically or mechanically.

Capacity Factor

The average power output of a wind development divided by its maximum power capability, its rated capacity. Capacity factor depends on the quality of the wind at the turbine. Higher capacity factors imply more energy generation. On land, capacity factors range from 0.25 (reasonable) to over 0.40 (excellent). Offshore, capacity factors can exceed 0.50.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

A naturally occurring gas, and also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass as well as land use changes and other industrial processes. CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas that is produced by human activity and influences climate change.

Climate Change

Changes in a climate system over decades or longer. The term often refers to changes in climate that can be attributed directly or indirectly to human activities that altered the composition of the global atmosphere – changes that are beyond the natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.


The controller starts up the turbine generator at wind speed of about 8 to 16 mph and shuts off the generator at about 65 mph.

Cut-out Speed

The wind speed at which the turbine automatically stops the blades from turning and rotates out of the wind to avoid damage to the turbine, usually around 55 to 65 mph.


The discharges of pollutants into the atmosphere from stationary sources such as smokestacks, other vents, or the surfaces of commercial or industrial facilities, and mobile sources such as motor vehicles, locomotives and aircraft. With respect to climate change, emissions refer to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.

Energy Payback

The time period it takes for a wind turbine to generate as much energy as is required to produce the turbine, install it, maintain it throughout its lifetime and, finally, scrap it.


Connect the low-speed shaft to the high-speed shaft and increase the rotational speed of the shaft to the speed required by the generator. The gearbox is heavy and power losses from friction are inherent in any gearing system.


A device that produces electricity from mechanical energy, such as from a rotating turbine shaft.


The nacelle sits atop the tower and contains the gearbox, shafts, and generator of a wind turbine. Some nacelles are large enough for a helicopter to land on.


The angle between the edge of the blade and the plane of the blade’s rotation. Blades are turned, or pitched, out of the wind to control the rotor speed.

Rated Wind Speed

The wind speed at which the turbine is producing power at its rated capacity. The rated wind speed generally corresponds to the point at which the turbine can perform most efficiently. Because of the variability of the wind, the amount of energy a wind turbine actually produces is lower than its rated capacity over a period of time.


The rotating part in the center of a wind turbine or motor that transfers power. A high-speed shaft drives the generator. A rotor at about 30 to 60 rpm turns a low-speed shaft.

Rotor Hub

The centre of a turbine rotor, which holds the blades in place and attaches to the shaft. The rotor refers to both the turbine blades and the hub.


The base structure that supports and elevates a wind turbine rotor and nacelle.


To rotate around a vertical axis, such a turbine tower. The yaw drive is used to keep a turbine rotor facing into the wind as the wind direction changes.

Wind Vane

Measures wind direction and communicates with the yaw drive to orient the turbine properly with respect to the wind.

Wind Turbine

A machine that captures the force of the wind. Also called a wind generator when used to produce electricity. Most commercial wind generators are horizontal axis wind turbines. If wind energy is used directly by machinery, such as for pumping water, cutting lumber or grinding stones, the machine is called a windmill.

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041 180 4600

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Site Map & Directions

  1. Coming from Port Elizabeth- follow the N2 to the exit 676 for Jeffreys Bay.
  2. Take exit 676 for Jeffreys Bay and proceed up the off-ramp. Turn right and proceed 200m to the main gate at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
  3. Enter at Security and proceed 3,5km to the Operations and Maintenance Building.




Monday 17/02/2014

  • 3 loads (incl. 3 blades) via route N2
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Tuesday 18/02/2014

  • 3 loads (incl. 3 blades) via route N2
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Wednesday 19/02/2014

  • 3 loads (incl. 3 blades) via route N2
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Thursday 20/02/2014

  • 3 loads (incl. 3 blades) via route N2
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Friday 21/02/2014

  • 3 loads (incl. 3 blades) via route N2
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Majority shareholder, Globeleq is jointly managing the construction of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm and will play a key role as the management company during operations.