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City of Cape recommends green light for R107m Steenbras refurbishment

12th September 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee is recommending the approval of a R107-million investment over the next few years to refurbish the Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme.

The 108-month contract, which is expected to start on February 15, 2024, with completion tabled for June 30, 2032, will ensure that Steenbras is refurbished and well-maintained to continue loadshedding protection.

The 180 MW Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme, which comprises four turbines that are used to generate electricity, currently provides protection equivalent to two stages of loadshedding where possible.

According to the City’s Energy MMC Councillor Beverley van Reenen, during peak electricity demand, the system channels water from Upper Steenbras to Lower Steenbras, through the turbine generator, to create electricity.

When electricity use is low, usually between 23:00 and 07:00, the turbines pump the water back to the Upper Steenbras dam to be re-used the next day.

“We continue to roll out plans to ensure we can within the next two years provide loadshedding protection of up to four stages where feasible while focusing on proper maintenance and investment in our infrastructure for reliable service delivery,” she said, assuring that all due process would be followed in terms of regulatory and legislative requirements.

The budget and execution of the professional services will determine the final budget and delivery programme.

“Importantly, all Capetonians benefit directly or indirectly from the City’s power generation management and loadshedding protection as it also protects critical City infrastructure used for service provision and protects the City’s electricity network.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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