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RENEWABLES Eskom’s renewables portfolio Eskom is serious about participating in South Africa’s renewable energy sector; it is constructing the Sere Wind Farm, has advanced its plans for a 100 MW concentrating solar power (CSP) facility and has a number of photovoltaic (PV) projects planned. O ver the past two years Eskom has undertaken five photovoltaic projects, amounting to approximately 2.0 MWp. “This 2.0 MWp, which can electrify the equivalent of 1,500 standard homes, is all for self-consumption by Eskom and does not feed into the grid,” senior general manager at Eskom’s renewables unit, Ayanda Nakedi, says. Three of these projects are located at Eskom’s Megawatt Park head office complex, one being rooftop PV for its parking areas and another being PV on the rooftop of the building itself. The third project at Megawatt Park features a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system which Nakedi says can be described as a research and development initiative. The other two PV projects are at the Lethabo and Kendal power stations respectively. Those projects are only the start and Nakedi says the utility is looking at a total of 150 MW of solar PV at its power stations, buildings owned by Eskom, and at its transmission and distribution substations, all for self-generation. It has already awarded a tender to SunEdison to supply 400 kW peak PV generation at its Rosherville facility, Germiston. This project was to begin construction at the end of March 2014, and features thin film mono-crystalline PV technology. Eskom is also busy with the development of an 8.0 MW PV project at its Grootvlei power station. Many believe that the 100 MW Sere Wind Farm located at Koekenaap in the Western Cape is the first utility scale renewables project Eskom is undertaking. However, Eskom already owns a total installed small hydro capacity of 61.4 MW in the Eastern Cape. These are old units, with the newest of the four hydroelectric facilities (note Eskom’s pumped storage capacity is not counted as renewables capacity but as storage mechanisms) being the 42 MW Mbashe scheme built in 1984. The other facilities are First Falls (6.0 MW), Second Falls (11 MW) and Ncorha (2.4 MW), these three having been built in or before 1969. Sere represents a different era of technology, though; the first of 46 turbines was erected in December 2013, and by mid-March 2014 another seven were in place. “We envisage that Sere, which will provide power equivalent to that used by 124,000 standard homes, will feed into the grid by December 2014,” Nakedi says. Sere will have a capacity factor of about 34% based on P90 predictions. Four contract packages were awarded for the construction of Sere. GNF Fenosa is responsible for the Senior general manager at Eskom’s renewables unit, Ayanda Nakedi. Eskom’s 11 MW ISSUE ESI AFRICA Second Falls 1 small hydro scheme. 2014 89