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City of Cape Town’s power procurement aims to shield customers from four stages of load shedding

  • Jan 26, 2023

Cape Town - Addressing the city council on Thursday, Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis detailed the City of Cape Town’s three-phase procurement for load shedding protection.

He said two major tenders had already been issued and have closed and are currently in its assessment stage. The third and biggest one is to be issued in the coming weeks.

Hill-Lewis said the plan is to provide protection from the first four stages of Eskom’s load shedding within three years.

“We have already made much progress on the first of our three-phase procurement for load shedding protection, with a 200MW procurement of renewable energy concluded last year.

“Tenders are to be awarded in the coming months, with the procurement now in the evaluation phase of technical proposals received from IPPs,” he said.

The City of Cape Town is working with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) on grid integration studies to determine when and where these IPPs will feed power into Cape Town’s grid.

“The second of the three-phase procurement for load shedding protection takes the form of our Power Heroes programme.

“The initiative is based on paying residents incentives for voluntary energy savings, which will entail automated remote switching off of power-intensive devices at peak times.

“The ‘demand response tender’ for this programme, launched in October last year, is currently in the evaluation phase, and will also be awarded within the coming months,” Hill-Lewis said.

He said the third phase of the procurement will be launched in February and will take the form of a Dispatchable Energy tender which is expected to yield around 500MW for the grid.

“This tender will not only focus on renewable energy, as the first phase of our load shedding protection plan but will include all-important dispatchable technologies, such as battery storage and gas to power.

“These power sources need to generate power for a significant portion of the day to support our load shedding protection efforts.

“Importantly, these dispatchable supply sources need not be located in a City-supply area. “We are expecting enough progress on this three-phase procurement – and our other deliverables – to provide at least four stages of load shedding protection within three years.

“Procuring 500MW will go a long way to ending load shedding over time, given that a single load shedding stage requires the City to shutdown around 60MW. We will add future phases to this plan in time, potentially including more renewables procurement and utility-scale battery storage,” Hill-Lewis said.

The mayor further expressed his disappointment in President Cyril Ramaphosa leadership after he cancelled his trip to Davos, however, he was unable to give the nation reassurance a serious plan was in place.

“Incredibly, Eskom has still not begun the recruitment process to replace Mr de Ruyter – despite having received his resignation in mid-December. This means Eskom will almost certainly be without a CEO from March, just as the colder months start to bite and the demand for power goes up

“‘I am afraid that the President’s lack of firm leadership does not bode well. And it pains me to say that he has utterly failed to confront the crisis with any sense of urgency,” Hill-Lewis said.

He said Cape Town would not succumb to the failing power utility.

“Here in Cape Town, we will not go gently into that good night, as the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas famously wrote; we will rage, rage against the dying of the light.

“We will not be forever wedded to Eskom’s dwindling supply alone. We will seek our own independent supply. We will not be forever wedded to their crushing, hyper-inflationary increases, even as families struggle to make ends meet in this load-shedding-shattered economy.

“We look forward to a future of cheaper renewable power meaning cheaper power for consumers,” Hill-Lewis said.



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