Cape Town to build solar plant capable of protecting against a full stage of rolling blackouts
The City has announced the commissioning of a photovoltaic power station, part of its plans to be the ‘first metro to free our economy from power disruptions’.
The City of Cape Town on Monday announced that it will design, build and operate a R1.2-billion solar photovoltaic plant with battery storage capacity capable of providing a full stage of rolling blackout protection.
The Paardevlei plant, which will provide up to 60MW of renewable energy, will be built on the outskirts of Somerset West, on land that is not suitable for human settlements.
The project is one of two that were awarded support by the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) — an organisation that offers cities technical and financial assistance for a green and just transition.
“The C40 CFF will support the project team in their efforts to undertake a technical feasibility study,” said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. The feasibility study for the plant will be completed at the end of 2023, and the plant should be fully commissioned by August 2026.
“This project is another critical step in our journey away from Eskom reliance and towards a load shedding-free Cape Town,” said Hill-Lewis.
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The CFF initiative is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the government of the United Kingdom and the Agence Française de Development.
City’s plans to become first metro with no power disruptions
“We are confident that Cape Town will be the first metro to free our economy from power disruptions, and ensure a green and just energy transition,” said Hill-Lewis.
BREAKING: Cape Town has won C40 Climate Finance funding for a R1.2bn solar plant project! 🔋⚡️💡
We’re the only city to get funding for 2 projects! 💥
Thanks to the C40, GIZ and funding governments for supporting this project.
— Geordin Hill-Lewis (@geordinhl) April 17, 2023
In the city’s 2023/2024 budget plans, R2.3-billion was allocated to plans designed to end rolling blackouts over the next three years. The Paardevlei solar plant is part of this plan.
In April, the city issued a power tender which would allow the city to buy 500MW of dispatchable energy from the open market. In January, it announced it would pay cash to commercial customers with their own embedded generation facilities who were able to sell excess power to the energy grid. DM
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