2nd December 2023 1:14 am
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Cape Town one step closer to buying power from residents and businesses

  • City of Cape Town has received an exemption from the National Treasury allowing it to purchase power generated by residents and businesses.
  • The City will start paying customers for power as soon as June of this year.
  • This is the latest development from the City as it moves to guard against four stage of loadshedding within the next three years.

Bringing an end to loadshedding is a goal government has, but, appears rather lethargic in addressing. Residents and businesses in Cape Town, however, received some good news from mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis this afternoon.

The City of Cape Town has received an exemption from the National Treasury which allows it to ignore the competitive bidding process put in place to buy power. What this means is that the City will be able to purchase energy from homes, businesses and small scale embedded generation solutions. This is an important step in the City’s goal of eliminating four stages of loadshedding in the next three years.

“The future is now, as we aim to immediately rollout the paying of cash for power. Payments to commercial customers will be possible before June, and within the year for any Capetonian with the necessary City-approved generation capacity. If you’re thinking of investing in a solar system, it just got more attractive,” City of Cape Town said in a statement.

Rather importantly, residents who want to feed into the grid will need to have Advanced Metering Infrastructure installed by the city. This infrastructure allows the municipality to accurately measure the energy that is being consumed and generated.

“We know this meter is still too costly for many, and we are working on finding an alternative option of comparable quality and reliability. Customers who want to upgrade their systems to make use of this existing development need to have the upgrade approved by the City,” the City of Cape Town notes.

In addition, the City says that it “does not envisage entering into further contracts with feed-in customers”. Instead, the city is finalising a standard pro-forma agreement.

This news comes on the back of Eskom announcing that it needed at least two years to make a meaningful impact on loadshedding. The utility says that over the next 24 months 6 000MW of capacity will be added to the grid.

South Africa is currently flitting between Stage 3 loadshedding between 05:00 and 16:00, with Stage 4 loadshedding in place from 16:00 to 05:00 each day.

Perhaps more municipalities will draw inspiration from City of Cape Town’s play book and draw on excessive power generated by residents and business to end rampant power cuts.

[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Beats include cybersecurity, business, infrastructure, telecommunications, PC gaming and internet culture.

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