Cape Town details new plans to get off Eskom’s grid and away from load shedding
The City of Cape Town is calling private and public sector financiers to submit proposals for the low-cost finance of renewable energy projects that will be owned and operated by the city.
The city hopes to have a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) plant built and operated by around 2022/23.
This is in addition to the plan to procure some of its energy from independent power producers in future, it said.
‘The programme will be made up of a number of projects ranging in size from less than 1MW to 100MW per project and all projects will be located on city-owned land and buildings, typically within the city distribution grid,” said deputy mayor Ian Neilson.
“It will comprise a range of technologies and sizes, including both rooftop and ground-mounted solar PV systems, developed and implemented over a period of 20 years, until 2040.”
- The renewable energy provided is expected to be derived predominantly from solar photovoltaics and wind generation systems accompanied by utility-scale energy storage, with the opportunity for other renewable or lower-carbon energy sources to be included.
- The finance provided must also cover all costs required to connect the projects to the distribution grid.
- The minimum operational life of each project is expected to be 20 years and accordingly, the tenure of the funding instrument should be in the region of 15 to 20 years.
- The finance provided should cover all costs of development and construction of each power plant and can be in the form of loans/debt, grants, equity, credit guarantees, or a blend thereof.
- This renewable energy programme has the potential to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions significantly over time. Consideration should therefore be given to accessing concessional climate finance due to the beneficial climate mitigation impacts of the renewable energy programme.
- For larger-scale projects, there is the potential to explore projects located within, or in close proximity to, the city’s boundaries, but connected to the Eskom grid.
“The city has always believed that local governments have the constitutional power and obligation to procure renewable energy and this is necessary to move away from the sole reliance on Eskom for energy supply,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for energy and climate change Phindile Maxiti.
“A stable and cleaner energy supply will also give the economies of Cape Town and other municipalities in the country a boost towards sustained recovery following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy.”