Feb 06, 2012
Eskom set to roll out power buy-back pilot this monthBack
© Reuse this
The initiative was being implemented as part of a series of supply and demand actions designed to stabilise the power system in the context of a chronically “tight” operating environment.
CEO Brian Dames made a fresh appeal at the end of January for South Africans to urgently reduce electricity demand by 10%, or some 3 000 MW, to enable it to ramp up its planned maintenance activities and create the space for continued economic growth.
He warned that 2012 and 2013 would be particularly vulnerable to disruptions, owing partly to a recovery in demand, as well as delays to the introduction on new base-load capacity from the Medupi power station, which was being built near Lephalale, in Limpopo.
The Integrated Resource Plan for electricity indicated that the first Medupi unit should be operational by the first quarter of 2013, but Dames indicated that Eskom was only planning for the first unit to be introduced during late 2013.
Attention was, therefore, shifting to demand-side management programmes, which delivered energy savings of 198.6 GWh during the third quarter of 2011. Efforts would also be intensified to ensure that the voluntary energy conservation scheme for Eskom’s top 250 customer be made mandatory.
Through the DRAPP Eskom planned to incentivise businesses to reduce consumption during critical periods and aggregate a large number of small loads to make the buy-backs worthwhile from a system perspective.
Eskom planned to conclude buy-back deals worth 500 MW by winter and scale the scheme up to 2 000 MW over the coming two years.
In December, the State-owned utility concluded a $27-million deal with Comverge, of the US, to create a new market for demand-response resources arising from a large number of small loads.
Comverge would deploy an information technology platform through which Eskom would register, dispatch and operate a competitive demand response market. Similar aggregations solutions had been used to reduce demand in countries such as the US, Australia, New Zealand and more recently in Europe.
In South Africa, customers with loads that could be reduced by 200 kW or more would be targeted for the aggregation scheme, which would offer similar incentives to Eskom’s demand market participation scheme for large industrial customers.
The scheme would be deployed on a merit-order basis in a bid to lower the cost of the programme.
Eskom said it was premature to comment on how much the buy backs would cost it yearly, but said that any costs or savings would eventually be reflected in its tariff applications to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.
The system operator would dispatch loads secured, but no payments would be made to those contracted customers that failed to respond. Frequent infringements by companies would result in the customer’s certified load being reduced.
Currently, only commercial and industrial customers were being prioritised, but Eskom said the residential market was a potential future target market.
Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...