The City of Cape Town has been awarded an opportunity to make its case on why it is beneficial for the province to cut out the middle man (Eskom) and purchase electricity directly from independent power producers (IPPs).
As reported by EWN, the City, led by its mayor, Dan Plato, will get a chance to engage Eskom and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) in court about this on 18 June.
Why does the City of Cape Town want power from IPPs?
IPPs are privately-held corporations with facilities to generate power. IPPs own 1 000MW of power generated from gas turbines, all of which is exclusively available to Eskom for procurement.
If approved, the City will be able to purchase up to 400MW of electricity from IPPs as surety in instances where load shedding is implemented.
“The City maintains that it will be vital for the national government to open up the electricity generation environment if cities are to be able to reduce carbon emissions and if the security of power supply is to be achieved,” he said.
Plato encourages other provinces to join the fight
For Plato, the ball lies in Eskom’s and Nersa’s court on what they deem is more important between profit and the catering needs of the people.
“This is not just a Cape Town fight. As a city, we encourage all other metros, being the growth engines of our country, to join us and to actively participate in constructive responses to mitigate the impact of the electricity supply shortage in the commercial sector especially,” he added.
The City, Plato revealed, wants to “loosen itself from Eskom”. As things stand, the power utility has the exclusive rights to purchase renewable energy, for resale, from IPPs.