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West Coast wind farm project environmental impact assessment was sound - DEFF

24 January 2020 8:50 AM
Tags:
Electricity
Power
Electricity grid
IPPs
Boulders Wind Farm
wind farm
DAFF communications head Albie Modise says it investigated claims made regarding CES report and no truth in allegations was found.

It seems government giving the green light for a massive wind farm on the west coast has sparked outrage from residents and environmentalists.

On yesterday's show, Refilwe spoke to Peter Pickford, a wildlife photographer, and author who represents various concerned groups, all opposed to the massive project.

RELATED: 'Approval of Boulders Wind Farm equal to placing 45 turbines on Table Mountain'

One of the arguments he made is that governments seem to have been too quick to approve the project because it would create jobs while ignoring the impact on tourism and the environment.

Albie Modise, the head of communications for the department that approved the project, says this is far from the truth.

He speaks to Refilwe about the importance of adding IPPs to the grid and that citizens need to be prepared for the practical implications of doing so.

I don't think the assertion that the decision we took was too quick. It creates the impression that we were too clumsy or we didn't do a thorough job and I can guarantee you a thorough job was done.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

Modise says the department has a good work ethic and received reports from an independent environmental assessment consultant, in this instance CES environmental and social advisory services.

With this particular project, there were enough consultations that happened between the department going through the environmental assessment practitioner who was appointed.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

There had been ongoing engagement with a property owner in the area Peter Pickford and others, says Modise.

They had stated in letters sent to the department in 2018 that they were opposed to the project and outlined reasons one of which was the fact that it was going to disturb the sense of place of the area.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

He says the men also raised concerns about the way the process was undertaken to arrive at the final decision.

They had reason to suspect that the practitioner who had worked on the assessment was conflicted and they believe that he was biased in relation to the project.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

Modise says the department investigated the allegations.

The report that we got out of that was that there was no grain of truth to those allegations.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

He argues that there are those who support and those who oppose the project.

The voice that may have been paraded in the public domain has been of those who oppose the project and an impression is created that they speak for everyone else when they do not.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

The economic impact of the wind farm will be positive for the area and the country, he adds.

The construction of this particular turbines will assist in local economic development because of the number of jobs that are going to be created.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

It will not be viable to move the project to another location says Modise.

We want to capture the wind where it is.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

Modise clarifies that the minister of environment, forestry, and fisheries the appeal authority.

So the process has got a next leg that is made available to those opposing the project.

Albie Modise, Head of Communications - DEFF

He says DEFF is confident it took a sound decision in the interests of the economic and environmental needs of the entire country.

Listen to the response from DEFF below:


24 January 2020 8:50 AM
Tags:
Electricity
Power
Electricity grid
IPPs
Boulders Wind Farm
wind farm

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