Johannesburg’s City Power signs short term PPA’s for 92MW from four IPP’s

  • The entity has secured 92 MW of power from four independent power producers (IPPs) through a short-term power purchase agreement (STPPP).
  • This is part of City Power’s 10- point plan to lessen the impact of load-shedding by generating 500 MW of energy by 2030.

The MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services (EISD) Cllr. Jack Sekwaila, alongside his team City Power Chairperson of the board Mr. Bonolo Ramokhele and CEO Ms. Tshifularo Mashava made the groundbreaking milestone announcement this morning to the media on its achievement in its rollout of the City’s Energy Plans.

The four IPPs will supply power from a variety of sources, including waste to energy, gas to power, and photovoltaic (PV) solar generation. The gas-to-power IPPs will offer the City the flexibility to generate baseload power, which is 24/7 power generation.

MMC for EISD, Cllr Jack Sekwaila asserted that “A total of 16 bids were received, and 4 were successful with a total aggregated capacity of 92 MW, comprising the following technologies namely, Waste to Energy making up 20 MW, Gas to Power consisting of 31 MW, and Photovoltaic (PV) / Solar Generation x2 with 40.8 W. The Gas to Power (which is dispatchable generation) offers the City the leverage for baseload generation (24-hour / 365-day power generation)’.

In essence, City Power is ready to onboard the Short-Term Power Purchase Agreement (STPPP), which is a programme to procure excess power for IPPs, for a capacity of 1 MW and above.

Unlike the 20-year PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) that requires approval by the Minister of the DMRE as per Section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act, The STPPP programme targets installations with excess capacity for capacity 1 MW and above to improve the City of Joburg’s energy security. Currently, the 20-year IPP programme will be tabled at the Mayarol Committee and Council for approval within the next 2 months.

The STPPPs are a major step forward for City Power in its efforts to reduce reliance on Eskom. The power from the IPPs will be cheaper than what City Power currently procures from Eskom, and two of the IPPs are ready to connect to the grid immediately.

City Power CEO, Ms. Tshifularo Mashava said “The entity has made tremendous inroads to cushion Johannesburg residents from the gruelling effects of the on-going load-shedding. As a result, the main benefit for these STPPPs is that the City will be procuring power from the 4 successful bidders, which are cheaper than what we currently procure from Eskom. In addition, the two winning bidders are ready to connect their energy source to our grid immediately.”

In addition to the STPPPs, City Power is also implementing a number of other initiatives to reduce the impact of load-shedding. These include the following:

  • The installation of the Rooftop Photovoltaic (PV) Systems at its Head Office to pilot the rollout to at least 700 other CoJ sites across the City including Joburg Market et cetera.
  • A panel of Service Providers has been procured to assist City Power in the rollout of alternative sources of energy, and further, plans are underway to exploit the city’s roof space skyline to install and interconnect PV systems to form a Virtual Power Station.
  • The Solar High Mast Public lighting is illuminating streets across the City. Our team has been hard at work, since April 2023, with the project already yielding over 50 installed Solar High Mast Public Lights in most non-affluent areas such as Soweto, Diepsloot, Alexandra, and Orange Farm, among others. The communities in those areas have expressed their happiness as these lights have proven to be the much-needed stop-gap when the lights go off during loadshedding to provide security. More will be installed in the coming weeks and months in other areas.
  • Another part of the plan is the Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) programme. City Power is working on implementing its NERSA-approved feed-in tariff, where customers with PV solar systems can feedback / import their excess power to the grid. The Small-Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) programme is part of City Power’s efforts to lessen the impact of load-shedding on the City’s residents. The programme entails customer’s application, registration, testing, commissioning, installation of bi-directional metering to measure in-flows and out-flows of energy, and compensation through net billing.
  • City Power has also started with the installation of Rooftop Water Heating Systems or Geysers. As part of City Power’s demand side management programme to reduce peak demand and energy consumption, City Power has commenced with the rollout of 20,000 solar geysers across the City, including Eskom-supplied areas, especially in the non-affluent low- income areas that experience a lot of overloading on the Low Voltage network.
  • City Power launched the solar geyser programme in Finetown on June 24th, 2023, which was also the launch pad for our historic solar high mast light in June. 500 solar geysers will be installed Finetown for phase 1.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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