Eskom wind farm gets green light

SAPA | 20 May 2013 | Times LIVE

The National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa) has granted Eskom a licence for its Sere wind farm in the Western Cape, the power parastatal said.

"This is an exciting milestone in Eskom’s move towards a cleaner energy mix," Eskom CEO Brian Dames said in a statement.

"Sere is our first, large-scale, renewable energy project. It demonstrates our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and to investing in a sustainable energy future."

The licence would allow Eskom to start construction of the R2.4 billion project which was expected to deliver its first power to the national grid in the first half of 2014, with full commercial operation by the end of 2014. Continue reading

Siemens to supply wind turbines to Sere farm

Reuters | 17 May 2013 | Mail & Guardian Online

Situated about 16km north of Cape Town, Sere is a flagship project for Eskom – which is weaning itself from an over-reliance on coal to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Installation of the wind turbines, each reaching a height of 115m, is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2013 and start operating in the first half of 2014.

"We are proud that Eskom chose to partner with Siemens in their first ever utility-size wind project," Tom Pedersen, director of Siemens Wind Power Division for Africa and the Middle East, said in a statement.

Pedersen did not provide a value for the contract. Eskom said previously that $260-million of a $3.75-billion World Bank loan would go towards building Sere and a separate 100MW concentrated solar power plant.


Financial closure for round 2 REIPPP in South Africa

14 May 2013 | ESI Africa

South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP) round two has reached financial closure with 19 projects achieving this milestone on May 9th 2013. These projects which should see a capital investment of R28 million comprise wind, solar and small hydro projects totalling 1,043.9 MW.

There are nine solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totalling 417.1 MW, seven wind projects totalling 562.5 MW, one concentrated solar project (CSP) of 50 MW, and two small hydroelectric projects totalling 14.3 MW.

The average tariff prices for the PV projects fell to 165c/kWh from the 275c/kWh of round 1. The average prices for the wind projects in round two fell from 114c/kWh to 89c/kWh. The CSP project came in at a price of 251c/kWh.

The second round follows the first REIPPP round of renewable energy projects being implemented in South Africa where 28 projects representing 1,416 MW are under construction.

The date for the submission of bids for the third round of REIPPP projects currently is the 19th of August 2013.


Altron secures R150m renewable-energy orders

Natasha Odendaal | 8th May 2013 | Engineering News

JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) says its electrical engineering subsidiary Power Technologies (Powertech) has gained momentum in terms of its entry into the renewable-energy sector over the last year.

The firm, which had eyed South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) as a strategic area for growth, had secured R150-million in orders for the service and supply of renewable-energy solutions for round one REIPPPP projects, Altron CEO Robert Venter said on Wednesday.

Speaking to Engineering News Online, he said Powertech would supply transformers, cables and industrial and system integrators to the turnkey contractors of the large solar and wind project bidders over the next few years. Continue Reading –>

Eskom outlines plan to trim unplanned outages to 10%

Engineering News 22 April 2013.

South Africa’s State-owned electricity utility Eskom has approved a new five-year generation strategy, premised on an ‘80:10:10 principle’, which implies average plant availability of 80%, with unplanned outages limited to 10% and scheduled maintenance also set at 10%.
However, divisional executive Kannan Lakmeeharan highlighted the fact that the 10% planned maintenance level would be spread over a full operating year. In other words, there would be trough maintenance periods, of around 2 000 MW, in winter, and peak periods, of around 8 000 MW, during the summer months of November and December…

(Contributor’s note: Not sure how one can achieve such a target by decree – presumably Eskom was already trying hard to increase its capacity availability. So what is new? Try harder?)


Walmart announces powerful plans to get rid of utility dependence

Walmart is going to by supplied by renewable energy. 100% – By 2020!

“More than ever, we know that our goal to be supplied 100 percent by renewable energy is the right goal and that marrying up renewables with energy efficiency is especially powerful,” said Walmart President and CEO Mike Duke.

Read the Walmart press release >>