City Power’s R6.7bn capex plan prioritises network stability, smart meters 20 June 2013.

Johannesburg’s electricity utility City Power has confirmed that it will invest R6.7-billion over the coming three years in a bid to improve network stability, roll-out of smart meters and electrify areas that remain unconnected.

It was confirmed in May that City Power, which has been criticised for service disruptions, poor maintenance systems and under investing in the network, would also receive an operating allocation of R13.2-billion for the three-year period.

MD Sicelo Xulu said in a statement that network stability was a priority and that R188-million would be spent on upgrading overhead power lines over the period, with R80-million earmarked for 2013/14…



SA to adopt best practices for smart grid implementation 13 November 2012.

13 November 2012 – Smart grids in South Africa will allow for control of peak hour demand, without having to increase generation capacity. However, the implementation thereof will require a substantial amount of financial support from government. The country can learn many valuable lessons from other international installations to formulate an implementation scheme that focuses on its existing strengths.

The need for smart grid technology in South Africa is driven by the low reserve margin on the country’s electricity generation capacity, the need for a more efficient grid with less disruptions, an increase in the electricity price, the consumers’ need for an efficient method of electricity consumption management and the IRP 2010, a 20-year national electricity plan that stipulates the key generation plan for the country…

More …

Big changes in store for SA’s transmission network as generation mix evolves

Engineering News 9 November 2012.

The South African electricity transmission system will need to change materially over the next 30 years if the country is to have any realistic hope of moving ahead with its current plan to diversify its generation mix away from coal to the integration of more renewable energy, imported hydropower and gas and, possibly, new nuclear capacity…

(Editor’s gripe, I mean note: An excellent article, although the words “smart grid” were never once mentioned and nothing was said about universal access plans. Also, the demand forecasts should be looked at, they are still too high, being based on the IRP2010 forecasts of 3% to 4% per year.)

More …

And here is the “Transmission Ten-Year Development Plan (TDP): 2013–2022”TransDevPlanBrochure2013-2022


ABB awarded $50m Mozambique converter order

Engineering News 25 September 2012.

Power and automation technology group ABB has won a $50-millio norder from Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa (HCB), in Mozambique, to refurbish the Songo high-voltage direct current (HVdc) converter station.

The converter station and associated high-power equipment are key components in the 1 920 MW HVdc link transmitting hydropower from the Cahora Bassa plant in Mozambique over 1 417 km to the grid in South Africa…


Net metering: A growing and worrisome trend

SAAEA 24 August 2012.

The rapid growth of solar rooftop PVs has significant unintended consequences. Policymakers and regulators in many parts of the world are supportive of any and all renewable energy resources, be it a giant 392 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) plant, such as the one being built by BrightSource Energy Inc. at Ivanpah in Mojave Desert in Southern California, or a 10 kW solar PV system on someone’s roof, and everything in between…

The customer, who is paying virtually nothing due to net metering, is imposing a significant cost on the grid, which acts as a massive battery balancing unpredictable shifts in generation and consumption across hours and seasons. While the school district saves a hefty $3,5-million in reduced electricity costs, those costs must now be spread among the remaining customers…


SA power grid needs intervention – Sanedi

Business Report 23 April 2012.

Electricity producers and distributors need to invest in smart grids to deal with infrastructure maintenance backlogs because current practices do not guarantee business sustainability and economic growth.

This is what the SA National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) told Parliament last week. The organisation, which was created for the sole purpose of assisting the Department of Energy in achieving its strategic objectives as set out in the country’s energy mix plan, said a lack of maintenance was posing significant risks to the industry…


Municipal power grids bother Eskom

Cape Times  27 March 2012.

SOUTH Africa’s electricity infrastructure maintenance backlog is alarming. Power shortages have restricted Eskom’s ability to maintain its aged power lines and transformers as often as needed.

But the backlog in maintaining the municipal supply network is worse. According to the Department of Energy, municipalities’ grid maintenance backlog stands at R35 billion and is growing at R2.6bn annually…

27/03/2012: BUSINESS NEWS: Municipal power grids bother Eskom