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The Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Councillor Mpho Moerane, has launched an energy mix Energy Sustainability Strategy for the municipality in a bid to accelerate security of reliable power supply for residents and business.

The City seeks to increase its capacity to cater for its growing developmental needs. The new strategy will see an extra 500MW capacity of alternative energy added to the City using gas and solar sources.

City Power currently receives 90% of its electricity from Eskom and 10% from the Kelvin Power Station, a private power producer that recently signed a power purchase agreement with the City.  

Mayor Moerane said the City was exploring taking over Eskom-supplied areas in Johannesburg, which include Sandton and Soweto.

“I am pleased that we are finally unveiling the 15-year Energy Sustainability Strategy that will see City Power transitioning from an electricity distribution company to an energy service provider. This means City Power is set to be a ‘wires business’ that will not only continue delivering conventional power, but will also cover distributed energy generation and energy storage facilities as its core business.”

“The strategy being unveiled today is not an overnight stand-alone initiative, but it is a long-term plan aligned with the Joburg Growth and Development Strategy – the GDS 2040. It is also in sync with our Climate Action Plan, which aims to ensure that by 2030, at least 35% of electricity generated in the City is from clean energy sources. The strategy is the much-anticipated vehicle that is ready to deliver us to the 2030 target of 35% electricity from clean energy sources.”

The new alternative energy-mix strategy will kick start by the end of this week, with the issuing of an official public request for proposals from independent power producers.

It will incorporate different alternative energy mix that includes:  

200MW of electricity from photovoltaic farms and rooftop suppliers. 

200MW of private photovoltaic electricity generation on the grid through wheeling and trading with our customers.

50MW of gas-powered electricity generation, 

25MW capacity from waste to energy in the Robinson Deep Landfill site.

This puts the City on a path to secure the targeted 35% of electricity supply in Johannesburg from renewable and cleaner sources of energy by 2030.

“This means the City is set to reduce our reliance for generating capacity on the national power utility by up to 15%, and thereby minimising the chances of Eskom scheduled loadshedding. I can say without contradiction that the added alternative sources’ capacity will exempt Johannesburg from loadshedding in the near future, Mayor Moerane said.

Over and above the quick wins brought about by the strategy, the City is also actively looking for other innovative ways, including the use of the grid by customers who will be billed and the construction of power plants of up to 100MW as provided for in the amendment of Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act.

City Power has embarked on 14 key projects around the realisation of a cleaner energy generation mix budgeted at about R10 billion, which are also in line with the approved IRP, National Development Plan, and the City’s energy strategy.

MMC for Environment Infrastructure Services Department in the City of Johannesburg Cllr Tania Oldjohn said the new energy mix strategy will ensure that everyone including the poor in the City have affordable power.

“As a government, we have a responsibility to ensure that every citizen of this city has access to reliable electricity. With our developmental and economic growth plans, we cannot afford power interruptions,” said MMC Oldjohn.

“With the path we are taking, we are able to reduce over-reliance on Eskom, particularly since it has proven to be unreliable when it comes to energy supply. Ultimately, this will help make Johannesburg‘s economy to function at its maximum, create jobs and make our city safe,” she added.