- Bloomberg reports that South Africa’s energy utility, Eskom, is considering investing R61.75 billion in wind power and R44.25 billion in solar energy leading up to 2030.
The investment plan, which Eskom could carry out by itself or in partnerships, is the most detailed demonstration yet of the utility’s ambition to move away from coal by taking advantage of the nation’s abundant wind and solar resources. It is also consistent with the CEO’s view that the utility cannot ignore its carbon footprint. Read more
The state-owned company envisages that some of the projects are planned on the sites of coal-fired plants that are scheduled to close. In April last year, Eskom issued an expression of interest (EOI) for the repurposing of ageing coal power plants that are scheduled for decommissioning. Read more
Related news: Debt finance cost Eskom 32.5 billion this past year
The investment plan outlines three phases for the investment once funding and regulatory approvals have been secured:
- In the first phase, which would span from 2022 to 2023, 246 MW of photovoltaic solar power could be built at the Arnot, Duvha, Lethabo, Majuba and Tutuka coal-fired power plants. A further 100 MW of solar-generation capacity could be built at Komati, the first of the aging power plants slated to close, and 19.5 MW of solar power at the site of the Sere wind-power plant.
- The second phase, which would last from 2023 to 2025, could see the construction of a 750 MW concentrated solar power plant at Olyvenhoutsdrift in the Northern Cape and 600 MW of photovoltaic power added at Sere. The company may also seek to build 300 MW of wind power at Kleinzee on South Africa’s northwest coast and 200 MW of wind power at Aberdeen in the Eastern Cape province. A further 250 MW of renewable energy generation capacity could be built on the sites of decommissioned coal-fired power plants.
- The third phase envisages the building of a further 2950 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity between 2025 and 2030 as well as 3100 MW of wind power.
Eskom confirmed the investment plan presentation without giving further detail.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal