7 September 2009 – The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality is hoping to attract some R2 billion in investment into renewable energy projects over the next five years, says the municipality Infrastructure, Energy and Engineering committee.

Says George Ferreira, a consultant to the committee, “a further enhancing factor that would help to fast-track some of the energy efficient projects” was that the municipality would receive R111-million in terms of the Division of Revenue Act for specific projects.

The metro had called for renewable energy projects in 2005 after an analysis of the situation at the time led the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality to the conclusion that South Africa would be pushed to ‘give renewable energy a fair opportunity”.

In addition, the metro concluded that economic factors would make renewable energy the preferred energy source within a number of years.

The metro is currently in the process of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on a 23MW wind farm, with a decision expected in January 2010. Once the final decision had been made, funding for the R500 million project would need to be raised.

In addition, EIAs were underway for a landfill-to-gas project at Arlington and Koedoeskloof with a capacity of between 4 – 8MW.

Ferreira said additionally that a combined cycle gas turbine project, which was a joint venture between the metro, PetroSA and the Coega Development Corporation, would produce another 800 – 2 400MW.

Energy saving initiatives undertaken by the metro included:

  • The roll out of 100000 high-pressure solar water heaters, due to begin in October this year,
  • low pressure solar water heaters, the installation of the first 1000 of which was almost complete
  • and the installation of 50113 domestic heater ripple control systems.

He said other initiatives being looked at included power generation from wood waste and smart metering, for which the evaluation phase had been completed.