South Africa’s economic hub secures initial private power deals

Lit residential tower blocks at night in front of the Telkom Tower, left, viewed from the Ponte City Apartments building, in the Berea district of Johannesburg, South Africa, 22 December 2022. (Photo: Bloomberg)

Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, has secured bids from private producers to provide 92 megawatts of electricity to help shield the city from nationwide electricity shortages.

The local government and Johannesburg utility City Power last year issued a request for short-term power purchase agreements. South Africa experiences electricity rationing on a regular basis as state-owned Eskom Holdings SOC struggles to meet demand.

The selected bids from companies using waste-to-energy, gas-to-power and solar generation technology provide cheaper electricity than using Eskom, City Power Chief Executive Officer Tshifularo Mashava said Thursday in a statement.

Johannesburg plans to add 500 megawatts of capacity by 2030. One megawatt is enough to supply about 650 households, Eskom says on its website.

Cape Town, the second-largest city in the country, also called for supply last year from independent power producers and has issued a tender to build its first grid-connected solar plant.

Johannesburg plans to install rooftop solar at over 700 sites and increase the number of solar water heating systems.

(Reporting by Paul Burkhardt)


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