Rejuvenating Energy Capacity: Ramokgopa Sees Progress as Availability Hits 60%

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa expressed optimism on Friday over the improving performance of the nation’s power stations, highlighting that the energy availability factor had climbed to 60% for the first time since September of the previous year. This milestone reflects the government’s rigorous efforts to boost the national grid’s megawatt capacity.

Scaling Back Load Shedding

According to Ramokgopa, the enhanced energy availability factor signifies potential reductions in load shedding stages, easing the strain on South African citizens and businesses.

Power Station Revitalization

Embracing a fresh approach, Ramokgopa confirmed the government’s strategic focus on targeted power stations, aiming to uplift their energy availability factor. Powerhouses such as Kendal, Majuba, Kriel, and Matla have been singled out for this project.

Tapping into Open-Cycle Gas Turbines

In a further bid to add more megawatts to the grid, the government is concentrating on optimizing open-cycle gas turbines. “We have teams working tirelessly to bridge the gap between demand and supply,” stated Ramokgopa.

Project Pipeline Thriving

Following the government’s decision to increase the cap from 1MW to 100MW on embedded generation projects and permitting over 100MW projects from private players late last year, there’s been a noticeable surge in applications. The National Energy Regulator of South Africa is currently processing a plethora of these applications.

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Between January and March this year, an impressive 27,000MW worth of projects were registered. Ramokgopa underscored the preference for these projects to be located where grid capacity exists, ensuring the optimal usage of resources.