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Community will benefit from wind farm

South Africa is to get its first wind farm built through a not-for-profit organisation in partnership with land owners and farmers in Wesley, a rural area of the Eastern Cape. 

The project will be jointly developed by Just Energy, the NPO, and InnoWind, a subsidiary of EDF Energies Nouvelles. Just Energy’s unique business model enables it to re-invest a substantial portion of the revenues it earns from developing the project back into equity for the local community to own. 

The partnership was selected as a preferred bidder by the Department of Energy under the fourth round of its highly regarded Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). 

“We started Just Energy with the belief that if clean energy projects were to be distributed around the country, then there was a fantastic opportunity for low income communities to be involved in the ownership of those projects, so that some of the income created would stay in the local economy and help to build those communities,” said Neil Townsend, the chief executive of the NPO. 

“We are really excited to have the opportunity to take this approach forward on the project we started in Wesley in a rural part of the former Ciskei homeland area.”

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