City of Johannesburg mayor Mpho Moerane says the city is moving ahead with plans to introduce its own energy mix, to cut its reliance on Eskom, and avoid daily load shedding.
Speaking to eNCA, Moerane said that the strategy would see the city sourcing 200MW of electricity supplies from Photovoltaics (PV) farms and rooftop suppliers. An additional 200MW will be introduced through electricity ‘wheeling and trading’, he said.
Wheeling is the act of transporting electricity (electrical energy) by a generator or energy trader to a consumer through a network not owned, controlled or leased by either party and deals with the financial flow of electrical energy.
The strategy also includes sourcing up to 50MW of gas-powered electricity generation and 25MW generated from waste-to-energy.
In total, the strategy is designed to secure almost 500MW of new generating capacity. This subsequently enables the city to effectively shift from the traditional supplier Eskom to alternative energy sources, Moerane said.
“It is work that has been done in the last year or so. It is not about electioneering or 1 November. We want to show the people of the city that we have a plan and that there is a sustainable power supply for our residents.”
The mayor said the changes would take place within the next three years, with bids for the new projects to start as early as this week.
Gauteng is the country’s biggest consumer of Eskom’s energy, consuming in excess of 10,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity from the grid annually.
Following the latest bout of load shedding over the weekend, the Johannesburg municipal power utility, City Power, said that it would not go ahead with load shedding as its deal with privately-owned Kelvin power station would supply enough additional electricity to prevent stage 2 load shedding.
On Monday however, the power utility was forced to backtrack and agreed to implement load shedding in line with Eskom’s schedule. Eskom said that it is still investigating how much additional capacity can be fed onto the national grid.
City Power spokesperson Isaac Mangena said: “We have agreed that for now, in the national interest, we will load shed while we explore technical possibilities that will see City of Johannesburg fully or partially excluded from load shedding in future.”
In a joint statement on Monday (25 October), the City of Johannesburg and Eskom said that they would continue to search for a lasting solution – with the hope that the result would be City of Johannesburg customers being excluded from load shedding.
“Technical teams from both Eskom and City Power will continue to consider the technical aspects of the Kelvin Power Station and verify the additional capacity that can be added to the national grid,” the groups said.
“The teams will also explore technical possibilities that may see the City of Johanessburg partially shielded from load shedding in future.”
Eskom’s stage 2 load shedding is set to continue until Saturday (30 October) at 05h00. For people living in the major metros, load shedding schedules are available here:
- City of Johannesburg
- City of Ekurhuleni
- City of Tshwane
- City of Cape Town (PDF)
- Nelson Mandela Bay
- Buffalo City
For access to other load shedding schedules, Eskom has made them available on loadshedding.eskom.co.za.
Smartphone users can also download the app EskomSePush to receive push notifications when load shedding is implemented, as well as the times the area you are in will be off.