The National Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) appointed the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), to undertake the Phase 2 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the effective and efficient roll-out of large scale wind and solar development in South Africa. Phase 2 of the SEA follows on from the recently completed Phase 1 Wind and Solar SEA which identified 8 Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) in South Africa and was approved for gazette in February 2016 and went out for public comments in April 2017.

Much like its predecessor, Phase 2 of the Wind and Solar PV SEA aims to identify geographical areas best suited for the roll-out of wind and solar PV energy projects. It is envisaged that wind and solar PV development will be incentivised and streamlined in the REDZs. The SEA process also provides a platform for coordination between the various authorities responsible for issuing authorisations, permits or consents and thereby allows for an integrated environmental authorisation process.

The delineation of the first draft Focus Areas (see Figure 1 and Figure 2 below) for the second phase of the wind and solar PV SEA was based on three spatial mapping exercises:

  • environmental constraints mapping;
  • technical constraints mapping; and
  • Socio-economic activity index mapping.

Details on the methodology and data used during these mapping exercises are included here.

The public is invited to review and comment on the first draft Focus Areas for a period of 30 calendar days from the 21 August 2017 until the 22 September 2017. A refinement of the first draft Focus Areas will be done based on the comments and additional inputs received during the public consultation period which will close on the 22 September 2017.

Figure 1: First draft Focus Areas for solar PV energy development

Figure 2: First draft Focus Areas for wind energy development

A grid of 50 km by 50 km cells was overlaid on the final solar wind and solar PV energy clusters to enable all stakeholders to provide comments on the delineation of the first draft Focus Areas for wind and solar PV energy development. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the location of the final solar PV energy clusters by indicating the name of the grid cell e.g.: “comment on the solar PV energy cluster located in the grid cell “K28”: …”

Stakeholders are invited to submit additional information in support of their comments to the SEA team, including documents and datasets to be considered during the refinement of the boundaries of the first draft Focus Areas for solar PV energy development. Documents must only be submitted in pdf or word format, and datasets must only be submitted in shapefiles (version ArcGIS 10.4 or older) or kmz/kml file (google earth spatial file) before 22 September 2017. Please feel free to distribute this invitation.

Stakeholders are invited to submit their comments via the project website here or via email to redzs@csir.co.za. Additional documents and datasets must be sent via email to redzs@csir.co.za.

If you wish to submit comments, additional documents and datasets to be considered by the SEA team, but do to not have access to internet or a computer, please fax your inputs to 021 888 2693 ; or call the SEA team on 021-888-2408/2432.