Explosion of private solar and wind power for South Africa

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My Broadband

Eskom announced on Tuesday that it had shared its Transmission Development Plan (TDP) for the period 2022 to 2031 with stakeholders during a virtual public forum.

This forms part of the power utility’s transmission licence requirements issued by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.

It calls on Eskom to publish a TDP annually.

Eskom said that 30GW of new generation capacity is expected to come online during this planning period — mainly from renewable energy sources such as solar photovoltaics and wind.

This represents more than two-thirds of Eskom’s coal-based generating capacity of 44,055 megawatts (44.1GW). Eskom’s total installed capacity is 51,920.2MW.

The power utility noted that this 30GW of new solar and wind generation capacity would be built in areas with limited electric network infrastructure.

South Africa Wind Energy Association CEO Ntombifuthi Ntuli previously told MyBroadband that wind power would make up a total of 14.4GW of power supply by 2030.

“Wind energy will play a significant role in the energy transition as it will contribute 18% to the total power system by 2030,” she stated.

Eskom said that it would need to build an additional 8,300km of extra-high-voltage lines and 119 transformers to bring on board 58,970 MVA of transformer capacity over the next ten years.

“The total Eskom Transmission capital plan amounts to R178 billion over the next ten years,” said Eskom group executive for transmission, Segomoco Scheppers.

“Of this amount, R144 billion is required for new capacity expansion projects to meet the reliability requirements, connection of new generation capacity and loads, as well acquire servitudes.”

Scheppers said a further R34 billion is required for refurbishments to the existing asset base and procurement of production equipment, as well as strategic spares.

“As a state-owned entity, Eskom understands the critical role it plays in enabling South Africa’s economic recovery efforts,” stated Scheppers.

“Without reliable electricity, there can be no sustainable economic recovery or growth.”

Scheppers also said that work is underway to connect utility-scale renewable generation projects for Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

These projects are expected to be connected to the national electricity grid by 2024/25.

“We are also making our systems ready to connect the additional 2,000 MW capacity procured through the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP),” said Scheppers.

This capacity is meant to relieve pressure on Eskom’s grid and reduce the need for load-shedding.

However, the RMIPPP involves controversial Turkish powership supplier Karpowership.

Scheppers said that this capacity is expected to be available during the course of next year.

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