South African power utility Eskom’s Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme and its associated land has been formally declared a nature reserve. The Ingula Nature Reserve will become Eskom’s third nature reserve. This is after the Koeberg and the Majuba Nature Reserve.
Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme is located in both the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. According to Eskom the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, is in operation to meet the demand for South Africa’s peaking electricity generating capacity.
This came to pass after it was discovered that the site, which was selected for proposed construction, housed many threatened species. NGOs subsequently petitioned the move and instead offered to build the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme.
However, further investigations would go on to clarify that the habitat would remain unaltered by the construction of the dams, plant and associated infrastructure.
The Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme has been built in the High Altitude Grassland ecosystem, a severely threatened system in South Africa with less than 2% under any formal protection.
According to Eskom, good land management will undoubtedly lead to more water and cleaner water being utilized in the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme. This will be used not only to generate electricity, but will also generate electricity.
As such, Eskom is charged with the mandate to protect, manage and mitigate the impact of Eskom’s activities on the biodiversity of any land they operate in. Deidre Herbst, Eskom’s environmental manager said that the move is a very proud moment for Eskom.
This is because the declaration of the nature reserve is one of many successful milestones in the conservation of the Ingula site. She went on to add that the Ingula conservation efforts and the partnership is an international flagship from which many other utilities around the world can learn.