Cape Town is forging ahead with plans to invest millions in independent power suppliers to stabilise the grid and minimise the effects of load-shedding.
The city is expected to advertise what it described as its biggest power-purchase tender from independent suppliers this week in its bid to become less reliant on Eskom as its only power supply source.
Here is what you need to know about the tender:
HOW MUCH ENERGY IS THE TENDER SET TO PRODUCE?
The city’s mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis, announced that on Thursday the municipality would issue a 500MW energy tender to alleviate the effects of load-shedding.
“Cape Town’s biggest power purchase tender — of 500MW — will be issued for competitive proposals this week on April 6. We encourage the market to take note and participate.”
WOULD IT BECOME THE FIRST METRO TO BE COMPLETELY ESKOM-FREE?
Hill-Lewis is confident that with the growth of the project, the municipality will not be affected by load-shedding in the long-run.
“We are confident that Cape Town will be the first metro to break free from the suffocating hold that Eskom has placed on our country, and in doing so enable meaningful economic growth and investment that helps more people into work in time.”
While the project aims to keep the lightson during rolling blackouts, Hill-Lewis said the municipality could only guarantee this for the first four stages of load-shedding within the next three years.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The city plans to spend R2.3bn in the next three years on its energy plans. This amount has not yet received final approval, as the 2023/2024 budget is still open for public comment.
Hill-Lewis tabled the budget in the city’s council last week.
“This amount includes R220m in this three-year period on independent power purchases, as well as R288m for our power heroes programme to incentivise Capetonians to use less power at peak times to help prevent load-shedding stages,” the mayor said.
The municipality also budgeted R1bn to operate and maintain the Steenbras pumped-storage hydroelectric plant.
“This is a critical part of the city’s load-shedding resilience, and the fact that this 44-year-old station performs so well is testament to the power of regular and thorough maintenance.
“Our capital expenditure on solar PV installations will amount to R636m in the three years, and we have set aside R50m for battery storage and R32m for our waste-to-energy programme at landfills.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE FIRST POWER TENDER?
The municipality started with the project in 2022, when it opened a 200MW tender to renewable energy producers.
It said phase 1 of getting the power from independent producers was on track and final awarding would be done this year.
Source: Business Day