State-owned Eskom earlier this week commissioned its 765 kV Kappa–Sterrekus transmission line, connecting the Western Cape to the network over and above the 400 kV network.
The 765 kV is one of the highest voltages used for electricity transfer in the world.
This line connects Sterrekus’s 765 kV substation through the 765 kV network to the north. The substation is equipped with the latest switchgear and protection schemes and will be the new hub for the transmission western grid, as it connects to Koeberg and other major substations in the Peninsula.
The 400 kV network to the Western Cape was established in 1974 with only two lines from the North to the Western Cape. Subsequent to that, a third and a fourth in-feed were established.
This is the first major change to the transmission network since 1974, giving the Western Cape a much-needed secure supply from the major power stations in Mpumalanga and Limpopo.
The line between Kappa near Touwsrivier and Sterrekus posed severe challenges to the construction teams, as entry to some of the mountainous areas could only be achieved by helicopter. Construction took place mostly by hand.
“It was also difficult to obtain the servitude as the line had to cross the Ceres and Tulbagh valleys and required extensive public and stakeholder engagement,” the utility said in a statement.