Eskom Transmission Development Plan kicks into implementation

  • Eskom hosted the Transmission Development Plan (TDP) Implementation Forum to give an update on the TDP and to apprise stakeholders of key developments to facilitate the connection of new generation capacity for the country.
  • The implementation forum was hosted in the place of the TDP Public Forum, where Eskom shares its future plans in accordance with the organisation’s transmission licence as issued by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

This year, Eskom has been exempted by Nersa from publishing the TDP, pending the finalisation of the new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which forms a critical basis for the requisite transmission network studies. In addition, the new generation capacity assumptions of the TDP 2022 extended beyond the IRP 2019 period, which means it is still valid.

Managing director of Eskom’s’ new Transmission Company, Mr Segomo Scheppers. Image credit: Eskom

“We endeavour to keep our stakeholders abreast of significant developments in our business, and we value their input. It is for this reason that, after having been granted exemption from publishing the TDP, we felt obliged to engage our key stakeholders by hosting the TDP Implementation Forum,” remarked Eskom Transmission Managing Director, Segomoco Scheppers.

“In the TDP 2022 we indicated that the country’s transmission infrastructure would need to be augmented by approximately 14 000 km of extra-high-voltage lines and 170 transformers to bring on board 105 865 MVA of transformer capacity over the next 10 years. We have made significant progress in advancing the critical enablers since we shared the TDP 2022 in October last year, and are now focusing on scaling up project execution,” added Scheppers.

There are currently 46 expansion projects in execution, of which 26 projects will deliver 1 632 km, 11 290 MVA of transformation capacity, and over 15 000 MW enabled. Of these 26 projects, 50% (13) have commenced with construction, which will deliver 1 197 km of transmission lines and 3 290 MVA of transformation capacity, and enable over 10 000 MW of generation (Medupi Transmission Integration 4 800 MW, Kusile Transmission Integration 4 800 MW and Garob IPP Integration at Kronos substation 267 MW by 2028). The other 50% (13 projects) are in the various phases of the procurement process, which will deliver 435 km and 8 000MVA and enable 4 975MW, mainly in the Northern Cape and Western Cape.

In addition, Eskom has identified two priority programmes to accelerate the delivery of transmission infrastructure, namely 25 projects in existing substations (additional transformers) that will unlock 13 000 MW of new generation in the next five years, and  22 expedited transmission projects that will unlock 24 000 MW of grid connection capacity by 2033. In summary, we are developing 47 projects, which have a potential to unlock 37 000MW grid connection between 2025 and 2033.

The organisation is implementing several strategies in parallel for the step-change required to deliver the infrastructure programme. To this end, the newly developed Interim Grid Capacity Allocation Rules (IGCAR), which were introduced to facilitate the connection of shovel-ready projects by moving away from a first-come-first-served to a first-ready-first-served approach, are yielding the intended outcome. The application of the rules, which were developed in consultation with the market, revealed that 32 of 42 independent power producers’ projects met the allocation criteria in the greater Cape. Twenty-seven of these projects were successfully allocated grid connection capacity in the greater Cape area.

Eskom has recently published the Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) to assist customers to make more informed decisions about where to pursue the development of new generation projects.

Giving an update of the legal separation of the Transmission business as a wholly owned subsidiary of Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd, Scheppers said that the process is at an advanced stage, with the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) SOC Ltd already having been registered and having received approval for the requisite licences from Nersa. The NTCSA is expected to start operating in the next financial year, provided all suspensive conditions are fulfilled.

“Eskom is committed to providing non-discriminatory access to the transmission grid to generators and distributors, regardless of ownership, and to ensure the roll-out of the required grid expansions as fast as possible, while safely managing the power system,” concluded Scheppers.

Link to the  full Transmission Development Plan Implementation Forum 2023 presentation document HERE: TDP_Implementation_Forum_Consolidated_Pack_15 November 2023 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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