Joburg makes big step to get away from load shedding

 ·18 Apr 2024

​The City of Johannesburg’s power utility, City Power, has recommissioned the John Ware substation open gas turbine, which it said will add 50MW of power to the grid.

The launch is part of the city’s wider energy plan to add new sources of electricity to the grid to help residents escape load shedding and lower its dependence on Eskom.

The local government said that the city plans to bring another 50MW online by the end of May 2024, and a further 100MW by the end of the financial year.

“By then, we will have almost 200 to 300 new megawatts that were not there, something we should have done many years ago,” it said.

The city’s move to alternatives for electricity generation is in response to the ongoing power crisis in the country, where South Africans have spent most of the past 12 months in continuous load shedding.

National power utility Eskom announced on Wednesday (17 April) that it had managed to keep load shedding suspended for 21 days.

Eskom last achieved a similar milestone in June 2022, when it went 20 consecutive days without load shedding.

However, despite the much-needed break, the country’s supply issues are far from over, with analysis pointing to a significant drop in demand being a major contributing factor for the suspensions.

In February, the City of Johannesburg’s council approved a longer-term strategy to mitigate the threat of power shortages.

The plan is to go into a 20-year deal with independent power producers (IPPs) for new generation capacity and cut the amount of energy it procures from Eskom by 5% in 2025. By 2035, it wants to have less than 60% of the city’s electricity coming from Eskom.

Read: Joburg’s big plan to shed load shedding is no ‘quick fix’

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