South African economy recovery plans prioritise energy security
South African economy recovery plans prioritise energy security. Image credit: 123rf.

The Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe, has welcomed the concurrence by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) to the second Section 34 Ministerial Determination issued in February 2020.

Section 34 Determination enables the department to undertake the procurement of additional electricity capacity in line with the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2019). This will open-up various Bid Windows (BW) including BW 5 of renewable energy.

The department of mineral resources and energy noted that this development is another milestone that gives effect to commitments made by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his 2020 State of the Nation Address (SONA) to increase generation capacity and ensure the security of energy supply to society rapidly and significantly.

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The capacity determined is:

  • 6,800MW to be generated from renewable energy sources (PV and wind);
  • 513MW to be generated from storage;
  • 3,000MW to be generated from gas;
  • 1,500MW to be generated from coal.

In total this will enable the development of an additional 11,813MW of power from the year 2022.

The 11,813MW is in addition to the 2,000MW already being procured under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Programme (RMIPPP) for which a Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued to the market during August 2020.

Work has commenced with key stakeholders including the buyer to firm up on the framework critical for the bankability of the programme, the department concluded.

Medupi conveyor belt repaired

Meanwhile, South Africa’s national power utility Eskom has announced that a conveyor belt feeding coal into the Medupi generation units that had failed has subsequently been repaired, and is currently in service, improving Eskom’s capacity to supply electricity.

While there is currently no loadshedding scheduled, Eskom has warned the public that the system remains constrained and vulnerable, and should there be any significant breakdowns, loadshedding may have to be implemented at short notice.

Unplanned breakdowns amount to 10,909MW of capacity, adding to the 5,831MW currently out on planned maintenance. Eskom advised that its teams are working around the clock to return as many of these generation units to service as possible.

“We urge the people of South Africa to continue using electricity sparingly in order to assist Eskom to avoid the implementation of loadshedding,” the utility concluded.