The Western Cape government has an ambitious plan to install solar panel systems at 100 schools across the province. This initiative is a response to the ongoing energy crisis and Eskom blackouts in the region. In a recent online media conference, officials outlined their strategy and announced plans from the City of Cape Town.
Solar Energy Benefits for Schools
By providing solar panels, batteries, and inverters, schools can enjoy:
- Improved learning environments during load shedding
- Enhanced energy resilience
- Potential for more schools to benefit from partnerships and private donors
Alwie Lester, Western Cape Special Energy Advisor, emphasizes the importance of addressing the energy crisis to ensure students’ success in the school system.
City of Cape Town’s Efforts to Combat Load Shedding
The City of Cape Town is working diligently towards eliminating load shedding in the near future. In the past year, they have:
- Changed policy to allow private homes and businesses to generate and sell power to the city
- Prepared to release a major tender for 500 megawatts of dispatchable power, which will be available when needed
Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis explains that having dispatchable power is crucial for peak hours and overnight use, as it can be accessed whenever it’s needed.
Partnership with Eskom
Additionally, the City of Cape Town is in detailed discussions with Eskom to take over all its supply areas in the city. Through the current Steenbras Dam generation program, the City aims to shield residents from up to two stages of load shedding.
The Western Cape government and the City of Cape Town are taking decisive steps to mitigate the impact of load shedding, including:
- Installing solar panel systems in schools
- Encouraging private sector involvement
- Pursuing dispatchable power solutions
- Working closely with Eskom to improve energy resilience
With these strategies in place, the region can look forward to a brighter and more reliable energy future.