While many South Africans have been subjected to having no electricity for a few hours at a time over the last year or so due to renewed implementations of loadshedding, Executive Mayor for Johannesburg Park Tau is aiming to improve things for Jozi residents.
During his annual State of the City address, Tau said that by investing in smart meters over several years, the City has been able to reduce the impact of loadshedding through its new load-limiting system.
“This allows business and everyday home owners to reduce their own electricity usage in order to avoid the rolling blackouts of loadshedding,” he said.
However, the city is by no means immune to blackouts, and Tau detailed that the Kelvin power station, located near OR Tambo International, has the potential to provide 21% of the City’s power needs – if it receives more funding.
“At 200 megawatts, Kelvin power station can provide about 7 % of the City’s needs. We are engaging with the private sector to secure investment in Kelvin to push its capacity to at least 600 megawatts,” he explained.
Kelvin is one of the few power stations in South Africa not owned by Eskom. The state-owned provider sold the station in 2001, which has since been privatised and is currently owned by Investec and Nedbank.
Tau went on to say the City can also reduce its reliance on Eskom by 25% if solar panels are more widely used.
“Combining these innovations with electricity generated by users, through solar panels and other technology, plus ripple control – which allows the city to manage power usage in specific areas – the City can reduce power from the grid by 25 %, without blackouts from any City Power areas.”
Tau concluded that “…this is part of a wider commitment to ensure a reduced economic impact and that basic service levels meet expectations.”
[Image – CC by 2.0/Ian Britton]