Powering Up Cape Town: An Innovative Approach to Energy Independence

City of Cape Town Takes Bold Steps with Independent Power Tender to Combat Load Shedding


Cape Town’s Energy Revolution: In a major move to combat the frequent power outages known as load shedding, the City of Cape Town has launched an ambitious independent power tender. This significant step is part of a broader strategy to reduce the city’s dependence on Eskom, South Africa’s primary electricity supplier.

  • Strategic Energy Plan: This latest tender aligns seamlessly with Cape Town’s ongoing efforts to integrate independent power into the city’s electricity grid.

Councillor Beverley van Reenen Speaks Out: The city’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen, outlined the strategic goals of this initiative. “The City intends to procure power from existing generators in line with its objective of being able to mitigate load shedding over time,” she stated.

  • A Dual Approach: The procurement will adopt a two-pronged structure, allowing bidders to offer both dispatchable/reserve power and a more cost-effective self-dispatchable option, priced lower than Eskom’s Megaflex Tariff.
  • Capacity Goals: Van Reenen highlighted targets of 300MW for dispatchable/reserve power and 200MW for self-dispatchable power, with a three-year contract period contingent on completing a mandatory Section 33 process.

Ending Load Shedding: A Top Priority: “The most important current energy priority is ending load shedding in Cape Town,” Van Reenen emphasized. She detailed the city’s roadmap to shield against the first four stages of Eskom load shedding by 2026, adding 650MW of independent power within five years, and eventually achieving complete independence from Eskom load shedding.

  • Short-Term Strategies: The city’s immediate load shedding countermeasures up to 2026 will heavily rely on a blend of the Steenbras Hydro Plant, 500MW of dispatchable energy, and demand management programs.
  • Demand Management Explained: These programs include curtailment for Large Power Users and ‘Power Heroes’, a voluntary initiative for remote control of energy-intensive appliances in homes and small businesses.

Diversifying Power Supply: A Multi-Faceted Approach

  • Renewable Energy Integration: Aimed at broadening the electricity supplier base for more cost-effective solutions.
  • Dispatchable IPP Program: A critical element for mitigating load shedding, featuring 10-year contracts.
  • Wheeling: Facilitating electricity trade between third parties using existing grid infrastructure.
  • City-Owned SSEG: Generating power from the Atlantis plant and solar PV at city facilities.
Also Read:   Can Machine Learning Predict and Mitigate Load Shedding?

Empowering Residents and Businesses: The Private Small-Scale Embedded Generation program allows residential and commercial users to generate their own electricity and receive credits for surplus power.

Act Now: For more information and to participate in this groundbreaking initiative, visit www.capetown.gov.za/tenders. Tender ID: 131S/2023/24. Deadline: April 8.

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