Cape Town invests in PV-plus-storage project to decouple from South African grid’s load-shedding

By Cameron Murray


Cape Town at night. South Africa suffers from widespread and frequent grid outages as operator Eskom struggles with reliability. Image: Martie Stewart / Flickr.

A solar-plus-storage project is being planned for the capital of South Africa, as the city looks to move “away from Eskom reliance and towards a load-shedding-free Cape Town”, its Mayor said.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis announced that the city would design, build and operate a solar PV plant with battery storage to the tune of 1.2 billion Rand (US$65 million). The Paardevlei project near Somerset West will “yield up to 60MW of renewable energy” although the official size of the either portion was not revealed.

A media statement did say that the project would protect the city against one full stage of load shedding from grid operator Eskom. It is part of a 500MW renewable energy procurement from independent power producers (200MW of which will conclude in 2023), the third phase of a broader effort to protect the city from load shedding.

A feasibility study for the project will now be undertaken, to be completed by the end of the year with commissioning of the project planned for August 2026.

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