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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
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.