South Africa

POWER PUSH

Joburg mayor unveils energy plan to reduce dependency on Eskom

Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane. (Photo: Michelle Banda)

Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Moerane has unveiled the city’s energy mix plan that includes solar and gas. It is set to kick off by the end of the week with the issuing of a public request for proposals from independent power producers. But Joburg residents are in the dark about when they can expect to see the benefits of the deal.

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Mpho Moerane on Tuesday briefed stakeholders and the media on the city’s energy mix plan to ensure there is a reliable supply of power during peak hours in areas supplied by City Power and Eskom.  

The energy mix plan, said Moerane, “is a strategy set out to accelerate the security of reliable power supply to make sure there is no load reduction, not just in areas supplied by City Power, but also in areas supplied by Eskom, including Midrand and Fleurhof”. 

Moerane said that in the past week the city had been in lengthy discussions with Eskom and a memorandum of understanding between the two parties had been signed to kick-start the exploration of the best way to take over areas in the city supplied by Eskom.  

“We are doing our best to ensure that there is a reliable power supply and that load shedding or load reduction are things of the past in our city.” 

At this stage, it is not known when the process will be complete.

Moerane also emphasised the signing of the two-year Power Purchase Agreement with the privately owned Kelvin Power Station, which will provide an additional 220MW capacity for the city. 

The energy mix plan is designed to secure almost 500MW of new generating capacity by moving from Eskom to alternative energy sources.  

Moerane said the strategy will relieve the burden on Eskom during peak hours in the morning and evening.

He said the strategy would help the city to attain the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of obtaining 35% of its electricity from clean energy sources. 

City Power Chief Engineer Paul Vermeulen said: “The energy mix plan entails that instead of being entirely dependent on Eskom, which is struggling with the current load, we have alternative energy mixes that include but are not limited to gas and solar assist in the peak period. 

“The plan is to make things easier for Eskom but at the same time be driving the migration to City Power,” Vermeulen said. 

Moerane said: “All these new developments are geared towards increasing power supply capacity and securing the provision of reliable power in Johannesburg. These are not overnight initiatives for electioneering as some suggest.” DM

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