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Transmission & Distribution News

Delayed coal decommissioning won’t ‘collapse our climate commitments’ 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 6 hours ago The Presidential Climate Commission (PCC) is currently assessing the impact of South Africa’s decision to delay the decommissioning of the Hendrina, Grootvlei and Camden coal-fired power stations on the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), which outlines the country’s... 

Wheeling progressing in South Africa, the rest of Africa

By: Schalk Burger     Updated 7 hours ago The use of national electricity grids to wheel power from renewable-energy projects to demand centres is growing in Africa and helping to drive greater scale in the building of renewable-energy generation, says private equity investment group African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM)... 

Transmission infrastructure

DBSA is working on transmission auction office

By: Bloomberg     24th May 2024 The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) is negotiating with government ministries to establish an office that will manage auctions of transmission projects, a senior official at the state-owned institution said. The bank wants to build on its creation of the Independent Power Producer... 

Transmission lines

Eskom seeks to reserve grid capacity for publicly procured IPP projects  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      24th May 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses Eskom's application to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa, seeking permission to preserve and reserve grid capacity for publicly procured IPP projects, as well as the implications should permission be granted. 

Photo of Terence Creamer
Eskom seeks to reserve grid capacity for publicly procured IPP projects

Plans for acceleration of Eskom’s transmission expansion falling into place – Scheppers 

By: Irma Venter     23rd May 2024 Eskom Transmission CEO Segomoco Scheppers says he believes the “pieces are falling into place” that will allow the power utility to “ramp up and move faster” in expanding the country’s constrained power grid. Grid expansion will enable Eskom and independent power producers to bring much-needed... 

Image of Eskom Transmission CEO Segomoco Scheppers
Segomoco Scheppers

Eskom seeks Nersa permission to reserve grid capacity for public IPP procurement rounds 

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2024 The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has invited comment on Eskom’s application to preserve and reserve grid connection capacity for independent power producers (IPPs) participating in public procurement processes implemented in line with Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation... 

Eskom group executive for distribution Monde Bala
Photo by Creamer Media Chief Photographer Donna Slater
Eskom group executive for distribution Monde Bala

Not out of the woods yet, but there is visible progress – Eskom CEO

By: Irma Venter     21st May 2024 On day 55 of no loadshedding in South Africa, newly appointed Eskom boss Dan Marokane warns that the country is “not of out the woods yet, but we have visible progress towards where we want to be, and we should acknowledge that”. Speaking at Enlit Africa 2024 held in Cape Town on Tuesday – on day... 

Eskom CFO Calib Cassim and CEO Dan Marokane
Photo by Creamer Media
Eskom CFO Calib Cassim and CEO Dan Marokane

Energy trader reports strong market demand for green electricity from 210 MW Hendrina Wind Farm 

By: Terence Creamer     20th May 2024 Newly formed electricity trader Apollo Africa reports that it is experiencing strong demand from potential customers for the renewable electricity that will be produced from the grid-ready 210 MW Hendrina Wind Farm, being developed by Enertrag in the Mpumalanga province. Apollo Africa, which is... 

Apollo Africa MD Jenna Harris
Apollo Africa MD Jenna Harris

NCOP votes to pass Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th May 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the significance of the National Council of Provinces' (NCOP's) vote to pass the Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill; if the Bill is likely to face any opposition; and what further actions can be expected once the Bill becomes law.   

Engineering News editor Terence Creamer
NCOP votes to pass Electricity Regulation Amendment Bill (Camera: Shadwyn Dickinson; Editing: Nicholas Boyd)

Today’s well-supplied market for critical minerals ‘may not be a good guide for future’ 

By: Terence Creamer     17th May 2024 A new International Energy Agency (IEA) report describes the sharp decline in critical mineral prices over the past year as a double-edged sword, cautioning that, while it has been a boon for clean energy deployment and affordability, it is a bane for critical mineral investment and... 

Investment in certain minerals, notably copper and lithium, is falling short of what was required for transition to net-zero energy system
Investment in certain minerals, notably copper and lithium, is falling short of what was required for transition to net-zero energy system

Opinion: Time to open the floodgates on infrastructure development

16th May 2024 In this article, Stellenbosch University PhD student and Centre for Sustainability Transitions junior researcher Alboricah Rathupetsane writes about the impact of extreme weather events on South Africa's infrastructure and the need for increased investment in infrastructure development, as well... 

Alboricah Rathupetsane
Alboricah Rathupetsane

Organisers expect record attendance at event

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2024 With ballooning foot traffic, demonstrated by an increase in attendance of 81% from 2022 to 2023, the organisers of this year’s Enlit Africa anticipate a “bumper event that will be attended by global dignitaries and industry leaders”. The Enlit Africa 2024 will be held at the Cape Town... 

A man standing on a podium at last years Enlit Africa Event
TAKING TO THE FUTURE This years Enlit Africa theme – Less Talk, More Action – aims to encourage attendees and speakers to move away from talk in favour of action and implementatio

Cooling company to highlight new concepts

By: Halima Frost     10th May 2024 After two successful webinars that unpacked the use of air-cooled condensers (ACC) for recoverable energy in power generation, thermal solutions specialist Industrial Water Cooling (IWC) aims to address future clients and investors at this year’s Enlit Africa 2024, which will be held at the Cape... 

An air-cooled condensers designed and manufactured by IWC
COOL AS A CUCUMBER According to thermal solutions specialist Industrial Water Coolin air-cooled condensers are the most efficient, green option for cooling

Deadline for latest battery procurement also extended as IPPs adjust to Eskom’s new grid access rules 

By: Terence Creamer     9th May 2024 The deadline for South Africa’s recently launched third battery energy storage bidding round, or bid window three (BW3), has been extended by three months to October 31, following a recent deadline extension for the concurrent second battery bidding round from April 30 to June 6. Independent... 

Battery storage

NamPower grid-strengthening and battery storage project secures $138.5m World Bank backing

By: Terence Creamer     7th May 2024 The World Bank has approved a $138.5-million finance package to support the integration of renewable energy into Namibia’s electricity system by strengthening its transmission grid and integrating a second utility scale battery storage system into the country’s network. The initiative, which is... 

Power line and substation

Eskom takes City Power to court over R1bn debt   

By: Sashnee Moodley     6th May 2024 State power utility Eskom has said it has "no choice" but to approach the Johannesburg High Court to force City Power to pay just over R1-billion in unpaid debt. Eskom noted that City Power began to default on payments in October 2023 and that it did not receive any payment for March, this year. 

Eskom logo

Ramokgopa insists loadshedding not being ‘stage managed’ ahead of May 29 poll  

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2024 Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa denies that the prevailing reprieve from loadshedding has been “stage managed” to improve the prospects of the governing African National Congress ahead of the May 29 poll, attributing it instead to “orchestrated” engineering efforts undertaken by Eskom... 

Minister insists the recent period of no loadshedding is down to the improved performance of coal stations such as Matla (pictured)
Photo by Creamer Media
Minister insists the recent period of no loadshedding is down to the improved performance of coal stations such as Matla (pictured)

Climate commission model points to the growth potential of green industrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     6th May 2024 The initial direct cost of placing South Africa on an energy transition pathway over the coming five years in line with its decarbonisation targets is calculated at a hefty R1.5-trillion in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP). Less visible, however, are the socioeconomic costs... 

Wind and solar

The lights are on in South Africa and many people are suspicious

By: Bloomberg     3rd May 2024 South Africa is enjoying a rare streak of uninterrupted electricity right before elections, drawing more suspicion than praise in a nation that’s become accustomed to the daily power cuts that have dragged on for years. The country is currently in its fourth successive week of no outages — the... 

Electricity lightbulb

City Power seeks funding, manufacturing partners for informal settlement ‘energy box’  

By: Terence Creamer     30th April 2024 Johannesburg’s City Power is seeking manufacturing and venture capital partners to further develop and pilot a rugged ‘energy box’ concept in one of the city’s 312 informal settlements as a possible greener and safer alternative to the illegal connections that currently predominate. Chief... 

Joburg has 312 informal settlements where illegal connections pose an electrocution risk
Photo by Bloomberg
Joburg has 312 informal settlements where illegal connections pose an electrocution risk

Electrical specialist says load curtailment in Ekurhuleni should be respected, or more outages may ensue

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th April 2024 With the City of Ekurhuleni having entered into a load curtailment agreement with national power utility Eskom, this mandatory energy reduction has been met with some protest by businesses, but electrical control equipment provider CBI-electric:low voltage engineering executive Dr Andrew Dickson... 

NTCSA begins consultations on market code to govern shift towards competitive electricity industry 

By: Terence Creamer     19th April 2024 With the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) currently scheduled to be operationalised in July and efforts under way to ensure that the Electricity Regulation Act (ERA) Amendment Bill is passed by the current Parliament, work is now advancing on the market code for the future... 

NTCSA begins consultations on market code to govern shift towards competitive electricity industry

Track busways more efficient than traditional systems

19th April 2024 Electrical and digital specialist Legrand avers that its track busway system is an efficient and flexible alternative to traditional power distribution systems that lack flexibility in adapting to changes. Legrand states that a reliable and flexible power distribution system is an essential... 

The above image depicts the Legrand track busways which provide localised power to machines, removing the need to run power cables and extension cords across the floor, preventing potential fire and tripping hazards
Photo by Legrand
HAZARD PREVENTION The plug-in units of the Legrand track busways provide localised power to machines, removing the need to run power cables and extension cords across the floor, preventing potential fire and tripping hazards

Mini-substations, transformers supplied to DRC

19th April 2024 With its experience in Africa and its agility in executing projects rapidly, electrical equipment supplier Trafo Power Solutions is supplying three mini-substations and two transformers to a copper/zinc mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Trafo Power Solutions MD David Claassen states... 

The above image depicts one of the three mini-substations by Trafo Power Solutions which are in an IP54 configuration – ensuring that the units are completely sealed from dust and water that could occur in the copper/zinc mine
NO ENTRY Trafo Power Solutions designed three mini-substations in an IP54 configuration, ensuring that the units are completely sealed from dust and water

Energy grid impedes excess power transmission

By: Lynne Davies     19th April 2024 South Africa’s current electricity transmission grid is generally constrained in the Cape provinces and unable to facilitate the connection of new utility-scale generation including that from solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind, says wind and solar energy facility developer JUWI Renewable Energies.... 

The above image depicts one of the solar plants engineered by JUWI
Photo by JUWI
REACHING LIMITS According to JUWI with the introduction of large-scale solar and wind in the cape provinces, the power flow of the national electricity transmission infrastructure, is being reversed. The network was not designed to achieve this, resulting in the installed capacity reaching its limits

VW Africa laments power outages in ECape; Patel says Electricity Minister is tackling the problem

By: Irma Venter     17th April 2024 Volkswagen Group Africa (VWA) last week suffered four power outages at its Kariega plant, says VWA MD and chairperson Martina Biene. This happened while there was no loadshedding scheduled for the Eastern Cape. 

Image of a VW Polo

IIoT a potential solution for mitigating illegal connection challenges

By: Sabrina Jardim     15th April 2024 Illegal connections are one of the leading causes of electricity-related injuries and deaths in South Africa, while also posing a risk of fires and electrocutions in communities. It also adds to the costs incurred by power utilities and municipalities and, in turn, impair their ability to provide... 

Eskom mulls private, foreign options on R390-billion grid build

By: Bloomberg     12th April 2024 South Africa’s State-owned power utility Eskom said it’s in talks with government ministries over private and foreign options to fund a R390-billion expansion of its transmission network as more renewable generation comes online. Eskom supplies more than 80% of electricity to the continent’s most... 

Power lines

Electricity outlook for winter  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      12th April 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the halt in loadshedding over recent weeks; what South Africans should expect for the higher-demand winter period; and the longer-term outlook for South Africa's electricity sector. 

Electricity outlook for winter
Electricity outlook for winter

Ramokgopa says ‘degree of convergence’ reached with NTCSA on unlocking private participation in grid

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2024 Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa reports that a “degree of convergence” has been reached between his Ministry and the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) regarding private sector participation in the electricity grid and no further Cabinet approval is required ahead of... 

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa
Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

All conditions met for separation of NTCSA, but April deadline for full operationalisation missed 

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2024 All the suspensive conditions opening the way for the National Transmission Company of South Africa (NTCSA) to be constituted as a separate, distinct and wholly-owned subsidiary of Eskom Holdings have been met, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Eskom chairperson Mteto Nyati have... 

Power lines

Draft IRP 2023 lacks environmental, health, climate commitments, says Life After Coal

By: Schalk Burger     27th March 2024 Coal phase-out campaign the Life After Coal Campaign, in its comments on the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2023, said the plan has fundamental flaws and expressed skepticism in the plan's ability to ensure cost-effective electricity supply, energy security and to uphold the Constitutional... 

A coal-fired power plant operated by Eskom

NTCSA unbundling secures lender consent, Ramokgopa confirms 

By: Terence Creamer     25th March 2024 Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa reports that Eskom’s eight “lender groups” have given their consent to the establishment of the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) as a separate subsidiary under Eskom Holdings. Bondholder consent was one of several key approvals required... 

Powerlines

Company leverages offering, expertise to ‘redefine’ S Africa’s energy industry

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd March 2024 As South Africa’s energy sector continues to grapple with climate change and an increasing demand for electricity, electromechanical equipment manufacturer ACTOM is making significant strides in redefining the industry through its production of transformers, high-voltage equipment, switchgear and... 

MERVYN NAIDOO
The company's offerings underscore its commitment to excellence and reliability
MERVYN NAIDOO The company's offerings underscore its commitment to excellence and reliability

IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching  

By: Creamer Media Reporter      20th March 2024 Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the fast-approaching deadline for public comment on the draft Integrated Resource Plan of 2023 and stakeholders' likely reaction. 

IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching
IRP 2023 comment deadline fast approaching

Conclusions in opaque IRP 2023 are ‘incorrect and economically damaging’ 

By: Terence Creamer     19th March 2024 In an excoriating assessment of the draft Integrated Resource Plan 2023 (IRP 2023), Meridian Economics points to serious problems with the modelling and cost assumptions used by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), which the consultancy says has resulted in “incorrect and... 

Unconstrained IRP would have far more wind and solar PV, analysis shows
Unconstrained IRP would have far more wind and solar PV, analysis shows

Energy Regulator approvals mark another step towards NTCSA’s operationalisation

By: Terence Creamer     18th March 2024 South Africa’s Energy Regulator has taken another set of decisions opening the way for the operationalisation of a separate grid company in South Africa ahead of the far-reaching legislative changes approved by the National Assembly last week. On March 11, the Energy Regulator consented to the... 

Energy Regulator approvals mark another step towards NTCSA’s operationalisation
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