UMMBILA EMOYENI PHASE ONE ELECTRICAL GRID INFRASTRUCTURE, MPUMALANGA PROVINCE
SUBMISSION OF FINAL EMPr AND SUBMISSION OF THE FINAL LAYOUT TO COMPLY WITH CONDITIONS 13 & 14 AND CONDITION 12 OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION
(DFFE Reference No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162; 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM1; 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM2)
Ummbila Emoyeni (Pty) Ltd proposes the development of renewable energy facilities, collectively known as the Ummbila Emoyeni Renewable Energy Facility, consisting of a commercial wind farm, solar PV facility, and associated grid infrastructure, including a battery energy storage system, located approximately 6km southeast of Bethal in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Ummbila Emoyeni (Pty) Ltd received Environmental Authorisation from the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) for the Ummbila EGI on 27 January 2023 (DFFE Reference no.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162). A correction to the EA (DFFE Reference no.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM1) was issued on 17 February 2023. An amendment to the EA (DFFE Reference no.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM2) amending the wording of Conditions 12 and 13 to refer to the development of the EGI in a phased approach was issued on 15 May 2023.
Phase One of the project has commenced to final design phase and the Final EMPrs and Final layout have been compiled. The Phase One project site is located in the Lekwa Local Municipality within the Gert Sibande District on the following properties:
|Parent Farm Number||Farm Portions|
|Farm 422 – Klipfontein||12, 16|
|Farm 458 – Goedgedacht||18, 25, , 27, 33, 43|
A project site considered to be suitable for the development of grid connection infrastructure, with an extent of ~696ha, was identified by the project developer. It is within the identified project site that a footprint has been identified by the developer through consideration of the sensitive environmental features and buffers identified during the Scoping Phase.
The grid connection infrastructure will include:
- A new 400/132 kV Main Transmission Substation (MTS), to be located adjacent to the Camden SOL Overhead Lines (OHLs).
- New Collector/IPP substation with:
- 132 kV feeder bays
- 132 kV busbar
- 132 kV switchgear
- 90 MVA 132/33 kV transformers
- 33 kV switchgear
- Capacitor Bank
- 33 kV network connecting wind turbines to IPP substation.
- 400kV loop-in loop-out OHLs from the MTS to the existing Camden-Sol 400kV transmission line.
- On-site switching station (132kV in capacity), as part of the collector / IPP station.
- 132kV power line from the collector substation to the new MTS.
- Access roads up to 12m wide.
FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME AND FINAL LAYOUT
Condition 13 of the EA dated 27 January 2023 (DFFE Ref. No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162) states that the Environmental Management Programmes (EMPrs) submitted as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAr) is not approved and must be updated in accordance with the provisions of the environmental authorisation and made available for comments by registered Interested and Affected Parties (I&APs). The holder of the environmental authorisation must consider such comments before finalising the EMPr and submitting to the DFFE for approval. Similarly, Condition 12 of the EA requires that the site layout map be updated in accordance with the conditions of the environmental authorisation and be made available for comments by registered I&APs, and the holder of this environmental authorisation must consider such comments. Once amended, the Final development layout map must be submitted to the Department for written approval prior to commencement of the activity.
In response to the conditions 12 and 13 of the EA dated 27 January 2023, the following has been undertaken:
- Finalisation of the Environmental Management Programme
The Environmental Management Programme (EMPr) submitted as part of the EIAr has been finalised in accordance with the requirements of Conditions 12 &13 of the EA dated 27 January 2023 (DFFE Ref. No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162, as amended by DFFE Ref. No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM2).
- Finalisation of Layout
In accordance with Condition 12 of the EA dated 27 January 2023 (DFFE Ref. No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162, as amended by DFFE Ref. No.: 14/12/16/3/3/2/2162/AM2), Ummbila Emoyeni (Pty) Ltd has finalised a site layout map, and a final site layout map superimposed on the environmental sensitivity map has been compiled for Ummbila EGI Phase One, both of which have been included as Figure 2.2 and Figure 2.3 in the amended EMPrs.
- Specialist walk-through surveys and compilation of management plans
Specialist walk through surveys and review of the final layout have been undertaken by the following specialists in accordance with the requirements of the EA and specialist recommendations:
- Terrestrial and aquatic ecology
These surveys confirmed the suitability of the final layout in terms of avoidance of sensitivities identified. Site-specific management plans have been compiled for these aspects on the basis of these specialist studies and are included in the final EMPrs.
AVAILABILITY OF FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAMMES AND FINAL LAYOUT FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT
The final Environmental Management Programmes (EMPrs) and final layout for the Ummbila Emoyeni Phase One Electrical Grid Infrastructure are available for review and comment from Tuesday, 23 May 2023 until Friday, 23 June 2023. The due date for written comment is Friday, 23 June 2023. All comments received on the final EMPr and the final layout will be considered in the Comments and Responses Report (C&RR) which will be submitted to the DFFE, along with the final EMPrs and final layout for approval.
As a registered I&AP, our team welcomes your participation and looks forward to your involvement throughout this process.
Documents for public review are available for download.
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