Sere benefits from lower cost of capital

[img:65_66Pic3.thumbnail.jpg| ]27 June 2013 - Eskom’s R2.4 billion 100 MW Sere wind farm facility due to be in full commercial operation by the end of 2014 is located in a good wind resource area at Skaapvlei Farm within the Matzikama municipality, in the Western Cape of South Africa.

Eskom chief executive Brian Dames says. “Sere is our first large scale renewable energy project.” Sere takes its name from the Nama word for cool breeze. The project has been funded by a group of development finance institutions, including the World Bank, African Development Bank, Clean Technology Fund and Agence Francaise de Developpement.

Interconnectors and power trade in East Africa

[img:Jasper%20Oduor.thumbnail.jpg|Jasper Oduor,
former executive
secretary of the
Eastern Africa
Power Pool
]26 June 2013 - “The Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector and Kenya-Tanzania-Zambia interconnector are going to be the projects that will bring power trade to the region. They have been long coming”, says Jasper Oduor, former executive secretary of the Eastern Africa Power Pool.  

CPV training program in South Africa

[img:World%20Banks_0.jpg| ]26 June 2013 - Soitec, which is building a 44 MWp utility-scale concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant in South Africa, says that the first students in its CPV technology training program have successfully completed the initial part of the curriculum. This CPV training program is the first one implemented in South Africa. Thanks to this initiative, students from the local community can acquire skills needed to work in the country’s growing solar industry.

Eskom wins recognition for integrated reporting

[img:AwardT_0.jpg| ]26 June 2013 - Eskom was the overall winner of the 2013 Nkonki state-owned companies (SOC) integrated reporting awards. This is the second year in succession that Eskom has received this accolade.

Eskom also scooped several other awards at the Nkonki SOC integrated reporting awards in the following categories; ethical leadership and corporate citizenship; boards and directors; compliance with laws, codes, rules and standards; internal audit; the governance of risk; integrated reporting and disclosure; and the framework for integrated reporting.

Cape Town order for miniature substations

[img:Handsh3_0.jpg| ]25 June 2013 - The city of Cape Town has awarded a R1.9 million contract to Powertech Transformers for several 800 kVA 11,600/420 V miniature substations worth R1.9 million.

This order forms part of a three year contract awarded by the city of Cape Town of which Powertech Transformers received the bulk. Powertech Transformers has supplied the City of Cape Town with power as well as distribution transformers and miniature substations for many years. The company was the first manufacturer to comply with the council’s low loss requirements for distribution transformers and miniature substations.  The company’s Cape Town factory has been supplying distribution transformers fully short circuit tested since the late 1990s.

Zimbabwe Power Company’s plans for managing winter demand

[img:ZPC_0.thumbnail.gif| ]25 June 2013 - Zimbabwe’s power demand traditionally peaks during the winter season as a result of an increase in commercial and domestic use. A report produced by the Zimbabwe Power Corporation (ZPC) indicates that the maximum actual demand for the country is 2,100 MW, with expected maximum average of 1,800 MW expected for the 2013 winter period.

The idea of a winter generation plan was conceived out of the need to ensure that ZPC achieves maximum possible generation during this season, reducing the extent to which consumers will be load shed. All the utility’s power stations underwent intensive maintenance to ensure that demand is met during winter.

Smarter energy in Africa

[img:Money1.thumbnail.JPG| ]25 June 2013 - During the Africa Energy Forum 2013, which took place at the Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB), Spain, Schneider Electric called for smarter energy in Africa.

According to UN Habitat, the African urban population will grow to one billion by 2040 and to 1.23 billion by 2050, at which point 60% of all Africans will be living in cities. As African growth will be driven mainly by existing and new cities, electricity will be a key factor to sustain urbanisation and growth on the continent.

International accolade for KenGen MD


By Antonio Ruffini

24 June 2013 - Outgoing managing director (MD) of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), Edward Njoroge, has received a lifetime achievement award for his impact on the electricity utility sector in Kenya.

The award was presented to Njoroge at a ceremony during the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) convention that is took place between the 18th and 20th of June 2013. This recognition coincides with Njoroge stepping down as MD of KenGen at the end of June 2013, having filled that role for a decade.

Njoroge played a major role in the evolution of Kenya’s electricity sector, which has undergone restructuring and privatisation over the recent years. A pivotal moment for the country’s electricity sector was the floating of the formerly fully state-owned generation company, KenGen, on Kenya’s stock exchange. This took place in May 2006.

Njoroge describes the listing of KenGen as one of the highlights of his career. “The public listing achieved its objectives, one of which was to have a wide public ownership of the utility.” KenGen has some 275,000 shareholders, mostly small private investors, the largest single holder accounting for 2% of the 30% publically held portion of the company. The government of Kenya retains a 70% holding in KenGen. “As a publically listed company KenGen is pushed to deliver because the shareholders have high expectations,” Njoroge says. The company’s first annual general meeting after its listing drew 20,000 shareholders and was held at a national stadium in Kenya.

“When I took over as MD at KenGen it was a typical parastatal, very operational in its thinking.” Njoroge was able to change the mind-set at the utility, to enable it to think more strategically, and turned it into a more performance driven result oriented and focused organisation. As a result it was able to execute and deliver a thermal power project in 14 months, something that had taken seven years previously.

On a broader level, Njoroge has helped drive the unbundling of Kenya’s power sector. “Many countries wrestle with whether electricity sector unbundling is desirable. From my perspective, unbundling in Kenya was a good decision,” Njoroge says. “It enables companies to focus on their key mandates. If you have a company that does nothing but transmission, it helps it focus more on what needs to be done in that subsector. Similarly for the other subsectors.” To that end Kenya set up the Geothermal Development Company which is helping drive progress in geothermal energy in the country. Similarly, Kenya has a separate Rural Electrification Authority, which is funded by government. The country has set up an independent energy regulatory commission whose members have security of tenure. “On a regulatory front, Kenya has done well,” Njoroge says.

Njoroge believes one of the major breakthroughs for the country was when the government realised it had to put its own money into the electricity sector. “This was a major shift in thinking, as Kenya was too dependent on the development finance institutions (DFI). When I joined KenGen this was the case. With a dependence on the DFIs comes long approval process timeframes even for pre-feasibility studies.”

While Njoroge is retiring from KenGen, he will remain involved in the energy sector, probably outside Kenya but focused on Africa. “I am challenged by the huge gap between supply and demand for power not only in Kenya, but in Africa and want to play a role in closing this gap.”

Engines for Kenyan biogas power project

[img:kenya_0.JPG| ]24 June 2013 - A 2.8 MW biogas power project in Kenya is seeing GE supply UK-based energy project developer Clarke Energy with two of its ecomagination qualified Jenbacher J420 biogas engines for a new large vegetable farm near Lake Naivasha.

The project, owned by Tropical Power, marks the first biogas engine project in sub-Saharan Africa for Clarke Energy, GE’s authorised Jenbacher gas engine distributor in the region. GE and Clarke Energy have collaborated on numerous natural gas and biogas projects in other countries on the African continent.

The farm grows vegetables for sale in supermarkets and other locations. The farm’s biomass waste, including trimmings and unsold vegetables, will be processed in a digester system to create biogas, which will fuel the Jenbacher engines to generate renewable electricity.

Solar electricity projects for SA wine farm

[img:UN%20roof_0.jpg| ]24 June 2013 - J.C. Bosman Boerdery, home of the successful vine nursery Lelienfontein Vine Growers as well as the Bosman Family Vineyards, has acquired a 53 kWp solar electricity system for the roof of the wine cellar at Lelienfontein and a 35 kWp solar electricity system on the roof of the Groenfontein administrative offices.  

The two grid-tied solar electricity systems were supplied by SolarWorld Africa, together with its distribution partner African Technical Innovations. At present there is a strong move from South African farmers towards solar energy. Within the wine farming industry the use of solar technology makes business sense as cooling takes place generally when the sun shines.

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