COMBINED NOTICE OF APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION IN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT ACT 107 OF 1998, WATER USE LICENCE IN TERMS OF THE NATIONAL WATER ACT 36 OF 1998, AND HERITAGE PERMIT AS WELL AS AVAILABILITY OF THE HERITAGE IMPACT ASSESSMENT REPORT FOR PUBLIC COMMENT IN TERMS OF NATIONAL HERITAGE RESOURCES ACT NO. 25 OF 1999 FOR THE PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT OF THE SUIKERBEKKIE 1 SOLAR PV FACILITY WITH GRID CONNECTION OTHER ASSOCIATED INFRASTRUCTURE, WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE, NEAR VRYGUNS & SLENT ROAD.
The project consists of:
- Conducting a basic assessment process, environmental management programme and relevant specialist studies in terms of the National Environmental Management Act, 1998 (Act No. 107 of 1998) with EIA Regulations 2014 (as amended).
- Conducting either a water use licence application or General Authorisation in terms of the National Water Act, 1998 (Act No. 36 of 1998) in terms of Section 21 after a pre-application consultation with Department of Water and Sanitation.
- Heritage Impact Assessment in terms of the National Heritage Resource Act 1999 (Act No. 25 of 1999) and sections 36 and 38.
Suikerbekkie Solar Facility 1 (Pty) Ltd proposes the development of Suikerbekkie 1, a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy generation facility, of up to 19,9 MWac in capacity, and associated infrastructure located on farm MA921-2-RE, Malmesbury Farms. The study area falls within the jurisdiction of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality.
A development area has been identified for the proposed development. Within this identified development area, a development footprint has been defined in a manner which has considered the environmental sensitivities present on the affected property and intentionally remains outside of highly sensitive areas. The affected property in its entirety has been considered in this Basic Assessment process (which includes the independent specialists’ assessments undertaken hereunder) and assessed in terms of the suitability from an environmental and social perspective.
The facility would comprise the following:
- Solar Field/Solar Arrays (Note that the foundations, mounting structures and module types would be confirmed during detail design, however, would remain within the proposed development footprint and be up to approximately 3.5m in height)
- Internal access roads (noting that existing farm roads would be used as far as possible, and the road width would be up to approximately 5m)
- Main access road (noting that an existing farm road -the same road to be used for the sand mining operation- would be used, and the road width would be up to approximately 8m) off Vryguns Road
- Associated internal underground electrical reticulation (i.e., voltage lines of up to 11/22kV)
- On site electrical infrastructure compound (to comprise a substation and associated step-up infrastructure/ collector infrastructure and /or a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS)) – noting there are two alternative locations assessed
- Perimeter fencing
- Auxiliary buildings (including, but not limited to, Operation and Maintenance (O&M) buildings, admin buildings, workshops, gatehouse, security building, control centre, offices, visitor centre, warehouses, etc)- noting there are two alternative locations assessed
- Associated grid connection comprising an up to 132 kV overhead powerline connecting the proposed facility to the existing Eskom 66 kV Perdeberg Substation
A temporary laydown area would also be established during the construction period, noting that the laydown area would move around as construction progresses and would be within the limits of the proposed fenced area/ development footprint.
The proposed facility would be accessed via Vryguns Road, making use of the existing farm road for most of the extent thereof, with design as per requirements from the Transport Engineer, noting that this access is where the sand mining operations (not part of this process, it is already approved) would access the property.
The proposed facility would require some servicing, noting that the operational electrical requirements would be nominal and would be supplied by the facility on site. Water would be required for sanitation use by operational staff as well as for washing the panels, as well as dust control on internal roads (where necessary). Water would ideally be sourced from the local municipality (i.e., the City of Cape Town), in terms of a Service Level Agreement established between the Municipality and the Proponent. If this is not possible, then further options will be investigated. Where required, a storage tank (i.e., Jo-Jo tank) of up to approximately 10,000L may be used on site for temporary water storage. Sanitation requirements would be minimal, given that there would not be many operational staff. Sanitation for auxiliary buildings would be provided by a self-contained unit (like a mobile toilet/trailer unit/porta-loo/etc.). Other future possibilities could include connection to the existing municipal sewage system (if there is capacity) or temporary storage in a conservancy tank for collection either by a honey-sucker truck or by a service provider (Contractor) for treatment at a licensed disposal site. Note that sanitation infrastructure of the scale required for the proposed development does not trigger the need for Environmental Authorisation in terms of the EIA Regulations, as amended (because infrastructure falls below any thresholds indicated in the Listed Activities). Should anything other than the self-contained unit mentioned above be required, it would need to be approved in terms of other relevant legislation but would have no bearing on any Environmental Authorisation in place for this proposal. Refuse would also be nominal (approximately a single wheelie bin per week) and would ideally be removed by the Municipality as part of the regular removal servicing. If this is not possible, the Operator would employ private contractors to remove the refuse and dispose of it appropriately.
There would be no specific stormwater and/or landscaping initiatives undertaken as part of the proposed solar facility, other than any interventions prescribed by the relevant specialist/s through the Basic Assessment process.
In terms of connection to the grid, the proposed facility falls within approximately 5,500 m of the existing 132 kV Eskom Prospect Hill Substation and within approximately 580m of the existing 66 kV Eskom Perdeberg Substation. The proposed facility would be connected, via an up to 132 kV overhead powerline, to the existing Eskom 66 kV Perdeberg Substation. For Layout 1 (preferred), a grid line of up to approximately 130m in length is assessed. For Layout 2, there are two alternative routes being assessed, namely Grid Line A and Grid Line B. Grid Line A would reach up to approximately 325m in length, while Grid Line B would be up to approximately 1168m in length. Where possible, the proposed line would make use of the existing towers/poles, but new towers/poles would be installed, where required. In such instances, the foundation would not extend beyond 1.5m x 1.5m and would be located within the proposed development footprint. Eskom is the electrical supply authority in this area. No new sub-stations or buildings would be constructed as part of the proposed line however certain works may be required within the Eskom sub-station yard, e.g., line bays, busbars, bussection and protection equipment, new transformer, etc. For all proposed grid connection/powerline routes considered, the proposed line would be accessible by existing farm roads for the stretches located on farm MA921-2-RE, Malmesbury Farms, and via access points off Slent Road, however, where there is no access, there would be a 4m-wide jeep track running underneath the proposed line (within the existing servitude and maintenance area). Most of the line lengths would run along existing farm road and would be accessed along those roads. No services would be required during the operation on the proposed line and maintenance would be carried out as per Eskom’s requirements by the line operator. In terms of siting, when extending beyond the boundaries of farm MA921-2-RE, Malmesbury Farms, the proposed line would run within the existing Eskom servitude. There is an existing overhead line within the servitude, noting that a corridor (with a greater extent than the actual development footprint) has been assessed.
The proposed development is located in the Western Cape Province along Slent road and bordering Vryguns Road. The site is north of Durbanville and southwest of Malmesbury. The following farms or farm portions are or may be affected by the proposed initiative:
- Erf/Farm No. MA921-2-RE, Malmesbury Farms with address: 224 Slent Road (located at the corner of Slent Road and Vryguns Road) for the PV facility.
- The remainder of the farm portions are for the grid connection power lines and associated infrastructure:
- Portion 6 (a ptn of Ptn 2) of the Farm Kersboslaagte No. 921, Malmesbury Farms (MA921-6)
- Portion 5 (a ptn of Ptn 2) of the Farm Kersboslaagte No. 921, Malmesbury Farms (MA921-5)
ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTITIONER (EAP): NCC Environmental Services (Pty) Ltd (NCC)
APPLICANT: Suikerbekkie Solar Facility 1 (Pty) Ltd.
COMPETENT AUTHORITY: DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS AND DEVELOPMENT PLANNING (DEADP)
REGISTRATION AND COMMENT SHEET
- Be an integral part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Process. Public involvement is an essential part of any environmental assessment process. Parties wishing to register as I&APs, who wish to participate by contributing comments on this document, the proposed development, or require additional information, should register and/or submit their contact details and correspondence in writing to NCC, using the attached Comment Sheets by 18 March 2022.
- All comments received will be captured, considered, and incorporated into the relevant impact assessment reports.
- Note that this is a public process, and your name and comments will be published in the draft Basic Assessment Report. While your contact information will not be made public in this report, this information will go to the DEA&DP with the final report.
- Registered I&APs will be notified of all comment periods and availability of information within the process and have the right in terms of NEMA to comment on these documents.