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National power utility Eskom disclosed its Transmission Development Plan (TDP) for the period 2020 to 2029 with stakeholders on Friday [31 Oct] at a public forum in Midrand.

As part of the TDP for the period 2020 to 2029, Eskom plans to increase its transmission infrastructure by approximately 4,800km of extra high voltage transmission lines and 35,000MVA of transformer capacity over the next 10 years.

Advising the various stakeholders is part of Eskom’s transmission licence requirements issued by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), which requires Eskom to publish a TDP annually.

This forum forms part of a consultative process where industry, various business sectors, local government and other infrastructure development partners, get to influence the long-term development plan of the transmission system.  

According to Segomoco Scheppers, group executive for transmission, “Some adjustments have been made to the TDP since its last publication in 2018, which include the re-phasing of capital investment in transmission projects to align with the project execution timelines associated with servitude acquisitions and current available funding.”

In a statement, the power utility highlighted the following milestones:

  • Significant progress has also been made in the establishment of a transmission network to enable the successful connection of additional generation from Medupi and Kusile to the national grid.
  • Furthermore, approximately 379km of lines and 540MVA of transformation capacity were successfully commissioned in the 2019 financial year.
  • A number of transmission substations and transformer capacity enhancement projects were commissioned in support of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme Bid Windows 1 to 3, increasing the number of connected projects to 67, totalling 4,041MW which was in operation by July 2019.

In terms of the transmission expansion plan, Scheppers explained: “This is part of Eskom’s commitment to capital investment in infrastructure and compliance with the South African Grid Code, which sets out the essential requirements for a reliable and efficient transmission system. All this takes place in the context of the Eskom Roadmap and the creation of the Transmission subsidiary.”