Presidential Climate Commission and Ministers to visit Komati Power Station to guage JET project progress

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  • The Presidential Climate Commission (PCC), together with Ministers Barbara Creecy and Pravin Gordhan, is expected to visit the Komati Power Station in Mpumalanga on Friday.

Komati was officially taken off the grid in October last year after serving the population since 1961 and now serves as a beacon for transitioning coal fired power stations into renewable energy hubs.

Hundreds of people who worked at the plant while it was still running have either been transferred to other power stations, continue to work there on maintenance of infrastructure or are being upskilled to work on renewable energy.

“This is implemented at the back of Eskom’s development of a comprehensive Just Energy Transition (JET) Strategy which places equal importance on the ‘transition to lower carbon technologies,’ and the ability to do so in a manner that is ‘just’ and sustainable,” the PCC said.

When infrastructure has been set up at the power station, Komati is expected to be powered by:

  • 150MW of solar power
  • 70MW of wind power
  • 150MW of battery storage

The PCC said this visit will present an opportunity to gauge the work being done at the plant.

“The PCC’s visit to the power station will include a walkabout of the solar microgrid and agrivoltaics demonstration facilities, viewing of the solar site under construction and a tour of an old and decommissioned unit with the intention to understand the process of decommissioning and repurposing of a power generating plant,” the PCC said in a statement.

Making history

In November last year, the World Bank and Canadian Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility Loan approved a R9 billion concessional loan to Eskom to fund Komati’s decommissioning.

The loan is aimed at:

  • Decommissioning the power station,
  • Repurposing and repowering the station
  • Other elements of the Just Energy Transition including provision for the training of Eskom employees, community development and stakeholder initiatives

The move made Komati South Africa’s first foray into recommissioning a power station for renewable energy.

At the time, Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana hailed the move.

“This is a significant development for South Africa’s Just Energy Transition to renewable energy as it brings the much-needed funding to enable Eskom to train its employees and members of the host communities to empower them to continue playing a central role in the provision of clean energy for the country,” he said.



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