KOUGA residents are benefiting from not one but two wind farms.
Other than providing crucial job opportunities and training to residents of the Kouga Municipality, the Jeffreys Bay wind farm and Kouga wind farm are involved in various corporate social investment projects.
The Jeffreys Bay wind farm, between Humansdorp and the surfing town, employs almost 250 residents of the Kouga region and at the peak of the construction in August, a total of 602 people worked on site, of which 45% were from the surrounding community.
Residents received training on site for the various tasks they were employed for, Leo Quinn, project manager of the 138MW Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, said.
"By employing residents and providing on-the-job training, which can be applied at other future wind energy production projects planned in the Eastern Cape, we are able to make a positive difference in the lives of literally hundreds of families," Quinn said.
The Jeffreys Bay wind farm is expected to start supplying electricity to the national grid by May next year. At the Kouga wind farm, near Oyster Bay, 10 foundations have been laid for the 32 turbines, the installation of which is set to start in February.
The wind farm currently employs about 100 workers from the surrounding community on electrical and civil construction works.
Nordex Energy managing director Anne Henschel said the 80MW wind farm project was on target.
They were aiming for completion in the second half of next year.