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Transmission & Distribution News

Brian Molefe’s young wife boosted his pension payout

By: News24Wire      20th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's marriage to Arethur Moagi in December 2016 boosted his pension payout, according to Sibusiso Luthuli, CEO of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF). Luthuli was briefing Parliament’s public enterprises committee as part of its state capture inquiry. 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says all connection costs relating to 27 outstanding renewable-energy projects have been included in its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), which covers the ten-year period from 2018 to 2027. The renewable-energy projects were legally procured in... 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry 

     19th October 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the appointment of David Mahlobo as the new Energy Minister. 

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry
What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony
Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2017 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has kicked off its inquiry into alleged State capture with a report revealing “overwhelming evidence of grand corruption”, governance failure and a stream of irregularities at Eskom, South Africa’s largest State-owned entity. Research... 

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture
Research professor Anton Eberhard

McKinsey 'embarrassed' by failings in South Africa scandal

By: Reuters     17th October 2017 McKinsey said on Tuesday it was embarrassed by errors it made while working with South African utility Eskom on a R1.6-billion contract that is being investigated by Parliament and police over allegations of fraud. Privately-held McKinsey, the world's largest management consultancy, said it had... 

McKinsey 'embarrassed' by failings in South Africa scandal

Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2017 The transition from centralised electricity systems to ones that increasingly comprise both large-scale centralised resources and distributed energy resources (DERs) is under way globally. However, to successfully manage the shift will depend substantially on sending the right economic signals, a... 

 Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

Eskom suspends power cuts in MP municipality after receiving payment

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 South African power utility Eskom on Monday suspended its planned supply interruption to the Govan Mbeki local municipality in Mpumalanga after it reached a payment agreement with the municipality. This comes after Eskom started cutting the power supply to Govan Mbeki Local municipality from... 

DA to report minister Brown to public protector and ethics committee over Eskom contract

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for any role she played in awarding lucrative oil contracts worth R1.2-million from Eskom “to her lover and close business associate” despite their lack of expertise in... 

Court declares contract between City of Tshwane, two service providers invalid

By: African News Agency      13th October 2017 The North Gauteng High Court on Friday declared a contract between the City of Tshwane and two service providers PEU Capital Partners and it’s subsidiary TUMS invalid. The court ordered that the R950-million, placed in a special trust account set up for the purchase of PEU’s infrastructure, to be... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

SA black consumer body urges regulator to reject Eskom’s tariff hike application

By: African News Agency      11th October 2017 The National Black Consumer Council (NBCC) on Wednesday said that it opposed Eskom’s proposed application for a 20% electricity tariff increase next year. TheNBCC urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the troubled power utility’s application and rather grant it “a... 

Kenya Power sees slower grid expansion as electricity access reaches saturation

By: Reuters     10th October 2017 Kenya Power expects the expansion of its grid to slow down as the number of people with access to electricity reaches saturation, its chief executive said on Tuesday, adding that its capital expenditure for this year would rise slightly. Ken Tarus, who is also its managing director, said the... 

McKinsey says will pay back fees if South African court finds Eskom deal illegal 

By: Reuters     10th October 2017 McKinsey will repay fees it earned for six months' work last year at South African State utility Eskom if a high court finds the deal was unlawful, the global consultancy said on Tuesday. Eskom had given McKinsey and its local partner Trillian until Tuesday to repay R1.6-billion ($117-million) in... 

McKinsey says will pay back fees if South African court finds Eskom deal illegal

Black Business Council says Eskom CEO musical chairs doesn’t inspire confidence 

By: African News Agency      9th October 2017 The Black Business Council (BBC) said on Monday that it was concerned by the sudden change of leadership at State-owned power utility Eskom, saying that government must give the enterprise some space and not meddle in its affairs. This comes after Eskom last week appointed its chief information... 

S Africa's auditor-general says Eskom's wasteful spending balloons

By: Reuters     4th October 2017 Wasteful spending at South Africa's state power utility Eskom soared to 547 million rand ($40.24 million) in 2016/17 from 93 million rand in 2015/16, the Auditor General's office told parliament on Tuesday. Eskom is at the heart of allegations of illegal contracts and undue influence in awarding... 

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?

     29th September 2017 In this opinion piece, Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa expresses the hope that both the current moratorium on new renewable-energy projects and the proposed 77c/kWh tariff cap will be reconsidered during industry consultations.  

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?
Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

Nigeria to diversify power supply, then focus on repairs

By: Reuters     28th September 2017 Nigeria is focused on diversifying power supply and ensuring its stability before pouring money into a creaking transmission system, a government minister told Reuters. Minister of Information Lai Mohammed said that while Nigeria had already increased power generation to the point that its... 

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet

By: News24Wire      28th September 2017 Business Leadership South Africa on Thursday booted out State-owned entities Eskom and Transnet for their involvement in corruption and State capture with immediate effect. The announcement comes as BLSA launched its #BusinessBelieves campaign in Cape Town, where it signed a “contract” with South... 

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet
Photo by Duane Daws
BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale

Government pension fund won't be used to bail out State firms – Gigaba

By: Reuters     26th September 2017 South Africa is not planning to raid the government pension fund to bail out struggling State firms, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday. Gigaba also denied reports that he told a Cosatu union meeting that indebted State-owned entities needed R100-billion ($7.50-billion) to survive. 

Government pension fund won't be used to bail out State firms – Gigaba
Photo by Duane Daws
Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike  

     22nd September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about what can be expected from Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff hike. 

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike
A look into Eskom’s double-digit tariff hike application

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions
CELL BALANCING Balancing the charge of individual cells in a battery can prolong battery life

Digital switchgear launched in China

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is... 

Digital switchgear launched in China
Photo by Duane Daws
DIGITAL ALARM The switchgear can send alarm notifications to specific people via many channels

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas

     22nd September 2017 Suited for off-grid households’ electrification, the Mobiya TS 170S portable solar LED lantern is being distributed by electrical solutions provider Magnet Group. The Mobiya solar LED lanterns have been designed by automation systems company Schneider Electric as an appropriate, safe and reliable... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas
SHINING ROADS The lanterns can be used by rural communities that do not have access to electricity

System advantages start with modular abilities

     22nd September 2017 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand explains that the advantages of using modular systems is the integration between Legrand’s busbar trunking systems, cast resin transformers and XL³ cabinets. The modular systems include cast resin transformers, with low... 

System advantages start with modular abilities
EASY INTEGRATION Using Legrand systems allows for new technology to be easily integrated into older systems

Big opportunity for change amid renewables-led disruption

By: Schalk Burger     22nd September 2017 As questions remain over what the future holds for South Africa’s power utility Eskom, there is a window of opportunity for utilities in developing countries to build on international power reform experience and design future power markets and operating systems to respond to new opportunities... 

ELB sees 143% increase in profitability

By: Anine Kilian     20th September 2017 With profit for the year ended June 30 up 143% to R82-million, from a loss of R189-million in 2016, JSE-listed engineering services provider ELB has seen a 147% increase in headline earnings a share to 243c, from a loss per share of 519c. “Despite political uncertainty, the volatile currency and... 

Brown receives outstanding information on Eskom’s relationship with Gupta-linked Trillian

By: African News Agency      20th September 2017 Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has received answers from Eskom to outstanding questions about its relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, her office said on Wednesday. “Minister Brown last night received Eskom’s responses to her queries. She noted  progress and Eskom will... 

Former Eskom R&D GM to facilitate electric tech transfer in Africa – EPRI

By: Schalk Burger     19th September 2017 State-owned power utility Eskom’s former research, testing and development GM Barry MacColl has joined international nonprofit organisation, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as an EPRI International senior regional manager facilitating technology transfer in Africa. EPRI has... 

Renewables’ share of global energy market to rise, system stability central

By: Anine Kilian     14th September 2017 The world’s energy system will decarbonise over the next three decades, says advisory services and risk management company DNV GL Africa business manager Robert O’Keefe. Unpacking DNV GL’s ‘Energy Transition Outlook 2017’ report at the Nordic Energy Days conference, in Pretoria, on Thursday, he... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market

By: Natasha Odendaal     13th September 2017 Southern Africa can take heed of the success of the Nordic region’s achievement of energy security through successful cross-border trade and integration, its integrated markets and other critical elements of the Nord Power Pool. This is the message that emerged from the first day of the three-day... 

Southern African Power Pool could learn from Nordic countries’ approach to energy market
Photo by Duane Daws
Norwegian Energy and Water Resources director Ove Flataker

Eskom reschedules electricity interruptions to three Eastern Cape municipalities

By: African News Agency      13th September 2017 Eskom on Wednesday announced that it was rescheduling electricity interruptions to three Eastern Cape municipalities. The power utility said it had planned interruptions of electricity supplies to struggling municipalities that include Raymond Mhlaba, Walter Sisulu and Inxuba Yethemba. Eskom... 

Energy department moots loans to pay for electricity infrastructure maintenance

By: African News Agency      12th September 2017 The department of energy on Tuesday proposed a new model of finding additional funding for electricity infrastructure maintenance but it was met with little enthusiasm from Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa. As explained to the portfolio committee on energy by the... 

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope  

By: Terence Creamer     12th September 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom is piloting a micro-grid system in a rural Free State town that may offer a solution to electrifying other remote areas, where the cost of connection to the national grid is currently prohibitive, due to a number of factors such as difficult terrain. The... 

Free State micro-grid pilot offers new universal-access hope
Photo by Duane Daws
Thava Govender

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

By: Terence Creamer     7th September 2017 The Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) is expecting growth in regional electricity trade in 2017 after a return to surplus power generation capacity across Southern Africa, led by South Africa’s State-owned utility Eskom. Nevertheless, the potential for cross-border electricity trade is expected... 

Cross-border power trade expected to rise as Southern Africa returns to surplus

City Power working around the clock to restore power in central Joburg

By: African News Agency      5th September 2017 Johannesburg’s City Power said on Tuesday that it had restored at least 27% of the power in the inner city following a fire at an underground tunnel that was caused by cable thieves. City Power said the damage to the cables had resulted from fire during the attempted cable theft on Sunday... 

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