Thulaganyo Ntlatleng, who completed her BScHons Geoinformatics degree in our department last year, was recently announced as the winner of the Esri Young Scholar Award for 2022. She received the award for her Honours project, titled Possible Wind Power in South Africa's Economic Hub: A GIS Based Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis of the Potential of Wind Farm Development in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. She joins previous winners from our department, the most recent one being Azile Mdleleni who won the award in 2020.
For her project, Thuli utilised spatial Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to identify suitable sites for wind power generation in the Gauteng Province. Sites were evaluated for wind factors, terrain gradient, proximity to electric gridlines, proximity to roads and railways, and proximity to urban areas. The Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to assign weights to the criteria, to create a hierarchy in the decision model. AHP was completely modelled from literature instead of the common approach of a gathering of industry experts that assign importance score the criteria. The thresholds, buffer zones, exclusionary areas and suitability scores were also sourced from various literature. The results of this study confirm the findings of the Council for Scientific Research i.e., there is no potential for large scale wind farms in the Gauteng Province. With the unique application of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, only small areas were deemed suitable for wind farm development. Thuli was supervised by Dr Christel Hansen and Dr Adedayo Adeleke.
We congratulate Thuli on her achievement!