Client: Beaufort West Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd
Amendment of the Environmental Authorisations (EAs) for the Beaufort West Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd 33kV/132kV On-site Substation, 132kV Powerline and Associated Infrastructure Projects, near Beaufort West in the Western Cape Province
Beaufort West Wind Farm was issued with Environmental Authorisations (EAs) for the proposed construction of one (1) shared 33/132 kilovolt (kV) onsite Substation; one (1) Battery Energy Storage System (BESS); one (1) laydown area; one (1) Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Building and one (1) 132kV powerline near the town of Beaufort West in the Western Cape Province (hereafter the ‘projects’).
The EAs for the above-mentioned projects were issued by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) in May 2022 (issued under reference numbers: 14/12/16/3/3/1/2465 & 14/12/16/3/3/1/2464 and dated 17 May 2022 respectively).
The projects will be located within the site for the authorised Beaufort West Cluster of wind developments (Portion 1 and Remainder of the Farm Trakaskuilen No. 15) and will service the authorised cluster of wind developments and associated electrical infrastructure.
The authorised Beaufort West Cluster of wind developments consists of two (2) wind farm projects (Beaufort West Wind Energy Facility: 12/12/20/1784/1/AM3 & Trakas Wind Energy Facility: 12/12/20/1784/2/AM3) with associated electrical infrastructure, which include a 132kV/400kV Linking Substation, two (2) 33kV/132kV onsite substations [one (1) per wind farm] and 132kV powerlines (namely the Beaufort West 132KV-400KV Linking Station, 132KV Power Line and onsite 132KV Substation: 14/12/16/3/3/2/925/1 & Trakas 132KV-400KV Linking Station, 132KV Power Line and onsite 132KV Substation: 14/12/16/3/3/2/925/2).
As part of the final application forms and BA reports, which considered all material specialist input and the technical feasibly of the projects, it was indicated by the EAP that Site Area Alternative 1 was the Applicant’s preferred alternative for the placement of the onsite substation and associated infrastructure (BESS; laydown area and O&M Building), while Powerline Corridor Alternative 1 was the Applicant’s preferred alternative for the routing of the 132kV powerline. However, Site Area Alternative 2 and Powerline Corridor Alternative 2 were authorised by the DFFE as part of the respective EAs instead.
Beaufort West Wind Farm is thus now proposing to submit Part 2 EA Amendment Applications, according to Regulation 31 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations, 2014 (as amended), to change the project alternatives approved as part of the respective EAs (amongst other amendments – see below).
The amendments being proposed are largely administrative in nature and involve the following:
- Correcting the Surveyor General (SG) 21-digit codes provided in each respective EA;
- Amending the Holder of the EA with reference 14/12/16/3/3/1/2465
- Removing duplication with regards to Water Demand and Waste Generation in the table with technical details in the EA with reference 14/12/16/3/3/1/2465;
- Replacing Site Area and Powerline Corridor Alternative 2 with Site Area and Powerline Corridor Alternative 1 as the authorised project alternatives in the EA with reference 14/12/16/3/3/1/2465; and
- Replacing Site Area Alternative 2 with Site Area Alternative 1 as the authorised project alternative in the EA with reference 14/12/16/3/3/1/2464.
The proposed amendments in themselves are not listed activities according to Government Notice (GN) R326, R327, R325 and R324 of the EIA Regulations, 2014 (as amended), and do not trigger any new listed activity. In addition, the amendments will not result in an increased level of impacts previously assessed (as all alternatives and their associated impacts were assessed in the BA processes) or result in a change in nature of impacts previously assessed. However, it has been indicated that there is nevertheless a change to the scope of the valid EAs where the change in nature of impact was not taken into consideration in the initial EA decision (i.e., preferred project alternatives, namely Site Area Alternative 1 and Powerline Corridor Alternative 1, were not authorised, however, were assessed).
SLR Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd (‘SLR’) has been appointed by Beaufort West Wind Farm (Pty) Ltd (‘Beaufort West Wind Farm’) to apply for the amendment of the EAs (as detailed above) for the above-mentioned grid connection projects.
The Draft EA Amendment Report for the above-mentioned amendments have been made available for a 30-day public review and comment period from 28 July 2022 to 29 August 2022 (excluding public holidays). Should you and/or your organisation wish to comment on the report for the proposed amendments, comments should be sent to SLR, at the details above, by no later than 29 August 2022.
A copy of the full amendment report and appendices is available for download below.