City Power goes to market to secure alternative energy

16th November 2022 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

Municipal power utility City Power has gone out to the market to secure excess energy from alternative energy sources through short-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) of up to 36 months.

This step towards mitigating and eventually ending rolling blackouts follows commitments made at the two-day Joburg Energy Indaba in April.

“The requests for proposal were published this morning, signalling a clear start for Joburg as we embark on the journey of securing reliable, sustainable and affordable energy that will keep the economy running and the lights on, thus sustaining and improving lives and livelihoods.

“A city whose contribution to the national economy is almost 16%, while making up 40% of Gauteng’s economy, cannot be left without energy for hours on end. As the Joburg multi-party government, we are working so that you can work,” comments executive mayor Mpho Phalatse.

City Power currently buys 90% of its electricity from State-owned utility Eskom with the balance coming from the privately owned Kelvin power station.

Parallel to the short-term PPAs, the city is also undergoing an approval process for Ministerial Determination to procure power from independent power producers on a longer-term basis.

City Power says it seeks to secure extra capacity from diversified energy sources, including solar, gas, battery storage, waste-to-energy and the dispatchable option of gas-to-power.

“The traditional business model of procuring the bulk of our power from Eskom is no longer viable. Eskom itself has conceded to that effect. It is for this reason that we have developed a sustainable energy strategy that includes procuring power from diverse sources,” comments City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava.

This step follows five months of consultations with critical stakeholders including National Treasury, the departments of Mineral Resources and Energy and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa and the City of Cape Town.