City of Cape Town issues independent power tender aiming at mitigating load shedding

City of Cape Town issues independent power tender aiming at mitigating load shedding

The City of Cape Town has announced an independent power tender in its aim to mitigate the impact of load shedding and reducing its reliance on Eskom.

It said the latest tender is in line with its plan of adding independent power to the City’s grid.

Mayoral committee member for energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen said the City intends to procure power from existing generators in line with its objective of being able to mitigate load shedding over time.

She said a two-pronged procurement structure will be followed allowing bidders to supplement dispatchable/reserve power with an option self-dispatchable component (with the latter being at a lower cost than the prevailing Eskom Megaflex Tariff).

Van Reenen said the maximum procured capacities envisaged (depending on the level of response and pricing), are 300MW of dispatchable/ reserve power capacity and 200MW of self-dispatchable power capacity. The envisaged contract period is three years and is subject to the successful conclusion of a mandatory Section 33 process.

“The most important current energy priority is ending load shedding in Cape Town, with short-term plans to protect against the first four stages of Eskom load shedding by 2026, adding 650MW of independent power to our mix within five years, and building up to the ultimate goal of access to additional independent power to put an end to Eskom load shedding,” Van Reenen said.

She said the City’s short-term load shedding mitigation plans (up to 2026) will be achieved largely through a mix of Steenbras Hydro Plant (1 – 2 stages); 500MW of dispatchable energy (up to four stages from 6am to 10pm daily where possible); and demand management programmes.

Van Reenen explained demand management programmes include Large Power Users (LPUs) curtailment, and Power Heroes, a voluntary programme for households and small commercial customers that enables remote switching off of power-hungry appliances such as geysers and pool pumps.

Power supply diversification initiatives include:

– Embedded IPP renewable energy (200MW) – with the goal to diversify electricity suppliers for more cost-effective electricity.

– Dispatchable IPP Program (up to 500MW) – a key load shedding mitigation mechanism, with 10-year power contracts for dispatchable power plants.

– Wheeling (up to 350MW) – a City-enabled means of third parties selling electricity to each other, using existing grid infrastructure.

– City-owned SSEG (up to 20MW) from the Atlantis plant (7MW) and solar PV at City facilities (13MW).

The initiative that is done is the Private Small-Scale Embedded Generation (up to 100MW) mechanism – residential and commercial customers are enabled to generate electricity for their own use and be credited for excess generation.


Contract number: 131S/2023/24

The closing date for tender submissions is April 8.

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