De Ruyter: CoCT off Eskom’s grid will ‘save us money’

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Cape Town The City of Cape Town’s ambitions to break free of dependence on the troubled parastatal, according to departing Eskom head André de Ruyter, will “save us a considerable amount of money,” he added.

In an effort to put a stop to debilitating blackouts, the City of Cape Town recently unveiled grand intentions to break away from Eskom.

One of these goals is to build the first grid-connected solar facility.

The 7MW project is anticipated to start construction this year, and operations are anticipated to start the following year.

The facility, which will be located in Atlantis, will also be the first of its kind to be linked to the electrical grid of the region.

For 20 years, the facility would provide 14.7 GWh of clean energy.

The second stage of its major independent power producer (IPP) purchase, which will be revealed soon, is one of its other efforts to reduce its reliance on Eskom, among others.

The City also intends to implement rewards for voluntarily making energy reductions under a new power heroes program and to encourage businesses and households to sell electricity back to the municipality.

While many people might have assumed that Eskom would lose money, De Ruyter, who is leaving his position at the end of March, made it clear that Eskom would ultimately make money.

De Ruyter stated to the Weekend Argus that “if a city like Cape Town moves off the Eskom grid, it will enable us to lower our usage of diesel, which, by the way, we don’t cover in full in our rate.”

“We applaud the decision. We don’t object to the change. We believe it will increase the grid’s capacity in the near future. Eskom can afford it, and it will relieve pressure on our usage of diesel, the official said.

“The initiatives put forth by the City of Cape Town in this area are all workable, and I believe that’s the direction the nation as a whole should go. Rooftop solar and small-scale integrated power have a significant chance to increase the capacity of

De Ruyter asserted that it would necessitate an alluring feed-in tariff, which the City currently has in place.

In order to entice more individuals to invest in rooftop solar so they may sell extra electricity back to the grid, he stated, “I suppose what they are doing is contemplating increasing that rate.”

The metro’s transition off the grid will still take three years, according to Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, who spoke to Weekend Argus.

I had stated publicly that it would take four years when we first unveiled our load shedding plans in February of last year, according to Hill-Lewis.

“That is still our schedule, and I believe we are on pace.”

The City of Cape Town’s goal to wean itself from Eskom, according to nuclear scientist Dr. Kelvin Kemm, is a pipe dream. They absolutely will not succeed in doing this. Solar and wind power alone cannot sustain you. The wind does not always blow, and the sun does not always shine at night. No nation in the world only relies on solar and wind energy, he claimed.

They must have Koeberg. It is not at all feasible. I concur with De Ruyter that Eskom will save money, but the City will remain in the dark as a result.

Hill-Lewis retaliated, claiming Kemm was misinterpreting their strategy.

“We are merely attempting to close the supply gap caused by Eskom’s incapability, which leads to load shedding. I completely comprehend.

De Ruyter also confirmed that the City of Cape Town was still in talks with Eskom about its ambitious plan to take over supplying power to more residences in the metro.

The City is negotiating with the power company on how Eskom customers can be switched over to the City’s system, the Weekend Argus reported last year. Plans are being made to buy some of the utility’s infrastructure to make such a move possible.

“Discussions are underway. Such a move has several advantages, according to De Ruyter.

In addition to operational synergies, there is alignment between political responsibility and service delivery accountability, all of which is in Cape Town’s best interests. It enables us to better manage our own distribution system so that we don’t wind up providing service to remote regions with very low payment rates.

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