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Electricity News

Wind power continues to show record growth, despite Covid-19 crisis

By: Simone Liedtke     5th November 2020 Wind power will continue to show record growth over the next five years, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 crisis, and will “make a crucial contribution to economic recovery”, says the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC). 

SAPVIA launches solar platform for solar PV professionals

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th November 2020 Industry organisation the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has launched a new platform, the PV Professionals (PVP) platform, in a move it hopes will improve the representation of professionals in the solar PV industry, as well as unify its players. The organisation... 

Germany examines ammonia to deliver green fuel for industry

By: Bloomberg     5th November 2020 Germany is looking at using ammonia and methanol as ways to deliver hydrogen as a clean-burning fuel for industry, part of its effort to make Europe’s biggest economy climate-neutral by 2050. The government is financing a feasibility study to evaluate ways of transporting hydrogen and is focusing... 

Germany examines ammonia to deliver green fuel for industry

French firms set to make R14bn in fresh investment pledges to South Africa  

By: Terence Creamer     4th November 2020 French Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Minister Franck Riester, who is leading a business delegation to South Africa this week, reports that French firms will follow-up their R20-billion in investment commitments made to South Africa in 2019 with new promises worth a further... 

French firms set to make R14bn in fresh investment pledges to South Africa

Credible pipeline of projects seen as key to achieving R1-trillion infrastructure goal  

By: Terence Creamer     3rd November 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has highlighted the importance of project preparation to unlocking the mostly private finance that will be needed to realise government’s goal of investing R1-trillion in infrastructure over the coming four years and turning South Africa into a “building site”. Speaking... 

Credible pipeline of projects seen as key to achieving R1-trillion infrastructure goal
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Acwa Power’s Bokpoort CSP plant achieves 312 hours of continuous operation

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 Saudi Arabian power generation company Acwa Power’s Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, in the Northern Cape, has become the first renewable facility on the continent to complete a full week of continuous around-the-clock operation. The operation set the new African continent benchmark... 

Acwa Power’s Bokpoort CSP plant achieves 312 hours of continuous operation

Eskom introduces 400 kV transmission line construction project to municipalities

By: Simone Liedtke     2nd November 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom has introduced its project for the construction of the 282 km of 400 kV transmission line, with associated feeder and transformer bays, which will be construction between the Gromis substation, in the Northern Cape, and the Juno substation, in the Western Cape. The... 

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2020 Energy and chemicals group Sasol reports that it has secured more than 100 000 carbon credits in a transaction concluded under the South African Carbon Offset Administration System (COAS), set up to facilitate the listing, transfer and retirement of such credits to offset carbon tax liabilities.... 

Sasol unveils first carbon-offset deal as it seeks yet more projects
The 7 MW Bethlehem Hydro IPP

IPP Office extends bid deadline for R40bn risk-mitigation programme 

By: Terence Creamer     2nd November 2020 South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office has confirmed an extension to the bid submission deadline, to December 22, for the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), under which government aims to procure some 2 000 MW of dispatchable generation... 

IPP Office extends bid deadline for R40bn risk-mitigation programme

Fresh moves under way to address debt albatross at lossmaking Eskom 

By: Terence Creamer     30th October 2020 Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Friday that a “second round” of work is being initiated in an effort to find a solution to Eskom’s unsustainable debt burden in line with the recent social compact between government, community, labour and business to “mobilise funding to address... 

Fresh moves under way to address debt albatross at lossmaking Eskom
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter

Globeleq appoints new COO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th October 2020 African independent power producer Globeleq has appointed Gionata Visconti COO, effective early in January next year. He will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s operations and provide support for in-country governance work and asset management.  

Nersa to hold public hearings on Eskom's MYPD 3 RCA applications 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th October 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa will hold virtual public hearings on State-owned power utility Eskom’s third Multi-Year Price Determination Regulatory Clearing Account Year 2 (2014/15), Year 3 (2015/16) and Year 4 (2016/17) applications, Eskom’s supplementary application and the... 

Nersa to hold public hearings on Eskom's MYPD 3 RCA applications

Nersa permitted to grant above 1 MW licences without Ministerial approval  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     30th October 2020 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has been granted permission to process licence applications for self-generation facilities of above 1 MW, even if they are not in compliance with the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 (IRP 2019). This approval, which was granted by Mineral... 

Norway's Nel, Statkraft agree to produce green hydrogen for steelworks

By: Reuters     30th October 2020 Norwegian hydrogen producer Nel and utility Statkraft have agreed to build a plant to deliver green hydrogen to a steelworks in northern Norway, replacing fossil fuel, the companies said on Friday. A letter of intent signed by the two firms covers the delivery of an alkaline electrolyser plant... 

Difficulties heightened during pandemic, company forges ahead

By: Mamaili Mamaila     30th October 2020 South Africa’s subdued economic growth has been well recorded – even prior to the pandemic, says industrial equipment supplier Verder Pumps South Africa MD Darryl Macdougall. 

Difficulties heightened during pandemic, company forges ahead
CHECK THIS OUT Verder Pumps South Africa also launched the new Verder HI-Clean AODD and EODD pumps earlier this month, with more announcements planned heading into 2021

Global renewables group expanding into South Africa

By: Schalk Burger     30th October 2020 International renewable energy development company GreenYellow is expanding its presence into South Africa, and provides not only proven renewable energy systems, but also technical advice and financing to catalyse the adoption of these energy sources by commercial and industrial companies, says... 

Global renewables group expanding into South Africa
MICHAEL ILLIAS GreenYellow will build and own the assets, or lease to purchase, allowing companies to deploy renewable energy without affecting their debt levels or balance sheets

R1bn Richards Bay mounded LPG storage facility commissioned

By: Creamer Media Reporter      29th October 2020 The R1-billion mounded liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facility, in Richards Bay, owned by South African independent bulk liquid and gas storage operator Bidvest Tank Terminals and independent LPG specialist and trader Petredec, has been commissioned. The 22 600 t storage facility is the... 

Technical panel being assembled to support delivery of 62 infrastructure projects 

By: Terence Creamer     29th October 2020 Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille reported on Thursday that nearly 1 200 applications were received from professionals willing to serve on the Technical Advisory Panel for South Africa’s Infrastructure Investment Plan. Applications for the panel were advertised in August... 

Technical panel being assembled to support delivery of 62 infrastructure projects
Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille

Kusile Unit 2 reaches full commercial operational status

By: Donna Slater     29th October 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom reports that, on October 2, Unit 2 of its six-unit Kusile coal-fired power station in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga ,achieved full commercial operation status. This means the unit has progressed from its 16-month project testing phase, to officially becoming a part of... 

Kusile Unit 2 reaches full commercial operational status
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Kusile power station under construction

Royal Bafokeng puts muscle behind Distributed Power Africa’s energy agenda

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th October 2020 Renewable energy company Distributed Power Africa (DPA) has announced that Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH) will invest $20-million in a newly formed asset company to expand on DPA’s solar energy portfolio in four key markets. RBH is a long-term African community investment holding company with a... 

Boland Cellar commissions 473 kW crowdfunded solar installation

By: Donna Slater     28th October 2020 Paarl-based wine cellars Boland Cellar and peer-to-peer solar leasing platform Sun Exchange received crowd funding from 1 204 individuals from 85 countries to finance a 473 kW solar project to provide clean electricity for the wine cellar, while also reducing its electricity costs and emissions.... 

Vivo Energy, Robex to set up a solar plant at Mali mine

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2020 Canadian mining company Robex Resources and Vivo Energy, which sells and distributes Shell- and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants in Africa, have reached an agreement for Vivo Energy to supply solar energy to the Nampala gold mine, in Mali, for a period of five to fifteen years. The project will... 

Municipal power procurement trickier than just getting the go-ahead from Minister

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Although national government has opened the door for municipalities to procure electricity from independent power producers (IPPs), a lot of "regulatory ironing out" still needs to happen before power purchase agreements (PPAs) can be signed. In May last year, the Energy Minister gave... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly 

By: Terence Creamer     27th October 2020 Leading wind-energy project developers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are convinced that South Africa’s plan to install 1.6 GW of new wind capacity yearly until 2030 is more than sufficient to attract large-scale industrial investment. These captains of industry warn, however, that... 

Industrial investment will flow if South Africa ‘consistently’ builds 1.6 GW of wind yearly

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th October 2020 Renewables remain the lowest-cost source of new power generation in most parts of the world, with prices continuing to decline and making it a promising sector for development in most countries. The price of onshore wind, for example, declined from $86/MWh in 2009 to $53/MWh in 2019, representing... 

Lower renewables costs driving up demand – Windaba panel

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

By: Bloomberg     27th October 2020 South Africa’s biggest cities are preparing to source their own power after the energy ministry this month approved letting them wean themselves off the state utility that’s subjected cities to outages for the past 13 years. 

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as power monopoly ends

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite 

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – which reported a R3.8-billion loss for the 2019/20 financial year, driven by a surge in impairments from R4.8-billion to R9.6-billion – has revised its investment strategy with the aim of “catalysing” government’s Reconstruction and Recovery Plan... 

IDC aims to ‘catalyse’ recovery plan, but won’t go it alone as impairments bite
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IDC CEO TP Nchocho

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th October 2020 With the commissioning of the final wind turbine at the 140 MW Nxuba Wind Farm in the Eastern Cape, Enel Green Power (EGP) has started with the generation and delivery of energy. The company says this is despite challenges attributed to Covid-19 containment measures and national lockdown. 

Nxuba Wind Farm starts generation, delivery of energy
Nxuba Wind Farm

UCT research unit shares considerations for REIPPPP going forward  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th October 2020 Power auctions are fast becoming the dominant procurement method for renewable energy globally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, but it is not without its crucial requirements for success. University of Cape Town (UCT) specialist research unit Power Futures Lab research fellow Wikus Kruger... 

Nuclear regulator confirms early talks with Eskom to extend Koeberg nuclear plant’s life  

By: Rebecca Campbell     26th October 2020 The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has confirmed that it is in preliminary talks with State-owned national electricity utility Eskom regarding extending the operating life of the country’s only nuclear power plant (NPP) at Koeberg, north of Cape Town. Currently, Koeberg is licensed by the NNR... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office   

By: Terence Creamer     26th October 2020 The extension of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZs) to areas where coal jobs are at risk, but where grid capacity is available, represents a “great opportunity” to connect new renewable-energy generators while also supporting a just transition for coal workers, a senior... 

‘Great opportunity’ to tap Mpumalanga’s grid capacity for just transition – IPP Office
IPPO head of technical Pervelan Govender told participants attending the virtual 2020 edition of Windaba that there was potential grid and just-transition virtue to be derived from locating new renewables projects in Mpumalanga. Video & Editing: Kutlwano Matala & Nicholas Boyd. 16.10.2020

Cape Town’s largest bus company becomes a net exporter of green energy  

By: Irma Venter     26th October 2020 Cape Town’s largest bus company, Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS), has become a net exporter of electricity. This achievement is the culmination of a multiyear collaborative effort between Golden Arrow, New Southern Energy and the City of Cape Town. 

Cape Town’s largest bus company becomes a net exporter of green energy 
The solar farm at Golden Arrow

Ethiopia slams pressure after Trump remark on destroying dam

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2020 Ethiopia slammed international pressure regarding its long-running dispute with Egypt and Sudan over a hydropower dam on the Nile River, after US President Donald Trump suggested Cairo could destroy the dam. “Ethiopia will not cave in to aggressions of any kind,” the office of Ethiopian Prime... 

Eskom's State of the System briefing 

23rd October 2020 Eskom delivered its State of the System briefing this week. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer attended the session and unpacks the prognosis for electricity supply for the summer months. 

Eskom's State of the System briefing
Eskom's State of the System briefing

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 South Africa’s coal-heavy power utility is moving to appoint financial advisers to assist it in structuring a potential transaction that could unlock discounted ‘green’ funding for the debt-laden State-owned entity in return for it meeting agreed decarbonisation targets. Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter... 

Eskom moves to appoint advisers to structure 'green' transaction

University of Pretoria team come second in Brics youth energy event

By: Rebecca Campbell     22nd October 2020 A South African team took second place in the recent 2020 Brics Youth Energy Outlook event, hosted in Moscow. Brics is the acronym for the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa alignment and the Youth Energy Outlook involves teams of young researchers submitting papers on energy and the... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2020 State-owned power utility Eskom, which is ramping up the maintenance of its unreliable and unpredictable coal power stations, anticipates that there will be a ‘step change’ in the performance of the fleet from April 2021, but has also warned that the risk of load-shedding will persist until at... 

Procurement of 11.8 GW only the ‘first step’ in full elimination of load-shedding threat – De Ruyter
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
CEO Andre de Ruyter and COO Jan Oberholzer
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