The South African coal producer, Seriti Resources has initiated the construction of the country’s largest wind farm, signaling the mining industry’s move to reduce dependence on Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the troubled state-owned power utility.
As South Africa aims to move towards cleaner energy sources, it confronts the challenge of supporting communities reliant on coal mines for employment. The 155MW wind farm, located 20 kilometers from Seriti’s New Denmark mine, is expected to play a crucial role in facilitating the energy transition by generating up to 800 jobs, according to Peter Venn, the company’s head of green energy.
Despite grid capacity limitations in a couple of regions, the coal-rich province of Mpumalanga offers surplus connections that the mining sector can tap into.
Set to be completed in the first quarter of 2026, the wind farm will help address the energy deficit, particularly as Eskom’s aging coal-fired plants struggle to meet demand. Seriti’s Chief Executive Officer of the Green unit, Peter Venn, mentioned the prospect of a number of projects supplying power for mines in the Mpumalanga area.
With Seriti shareholders Standard Bank Group Ltd. and Rand Merchant Bank funding the initial wind project, the company plans to leverage its balance sheet to commence construction in December. This includes ordering crucial equipment like transformers. The Seriti Green unit has ambitious plans to develop infrastructure capable of providing 900 megawatts of green energy in the coming years.