Renewable energy company Scatec, financial services firm Standard Bank and asset management company Stanlib have established new renewable energy platform Lyra Energy to offer a low-risk, flexible commercial proposition to the private sector in South Africa. Lyra is a private power solution that offers distributed access to high-quality, affordable and predictable utility-scale renewable energy to medium-sized and large commercial and industrial players.
Eskom Distribution MD Monde Bala has signalled the utility’s willingness to consider the integration of an Electricity Credit Token (ECT) financial instrument to accelerate the implementation of a virtual wheeling model that allows multiple generators to transact with multiple customers in multiple locations. Eskom and Vodacom have, over the past year, developed and piloted a virtual wheeling platform that Eskom is currently aiming to launch before the end of 2024.
JSE-listed real estate investment trust Growthpoint Properties has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with electricity trader Etana Energy for 195 GWh/y of renewable energy, which represents 32% of its total current yearly electricity consumption, which was 612 GWh in its 2023 financial year. The company signed the PPA in November 2023 to wheel electricity to its commercial property buildings in several jurisdictions across the country. Further, the generation profile will be relatively flat over a 24-hour period owing to it consisting mainly of wind power and a smaller hydropower generation component.
The Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO) reports that it is engaging with Eskom on its newly released curtailment addendum to the latest Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA 2025) – through the addendum 3 470 MW of additional connection capacity for wind generators has been unlocked in two grid-constrained provinces. Prior to the publication of the addendum, the GCCA 2025 indicated there to be no remaining grid capacity available in the Eastern, Northern and Western Cape provinces. But the addendum indicates that, by accepting a “reasonable share of no more than 10% of curtailment”, 2 680 MW of capacity is available in the Western Cape and 790 MW in the Eastern Cape.
The City of Cape Town’s (CoCT’s) specialist metals theft unit, the Copperheads, has recovered more then 53 km of stolen cable during the last six months of 2023. The unit says it executed 404 autonomous operations, 1 260 scrapyard inspections, 1 777 hotspot patrols and responded to 277 complaints from the public during this period.
Loadshedding will jump to Stage 3 at 16:00 Monday after a delay in the return to service of two generating units. “Over the past 24 hours, five generation units were taken offline for repairs. Additionally, the return to service of two generating units that were on planned maintenance was delayed due to an opportunity to perform preventative maintenance. These factors have contributed to the shortage of available capacity necessitating the implementation of Stage 3 loadshedding from 16:00 today until 05:00 on Tuesday,” Eskom said.  “Thereafter, loadshedding will be reduced to Stage 2 until 16:00 on Tuesday. This pattern of Stage 2 loadshedding from 05:00 until 16:00 and Stage 3 loadshedding from 16:00 until 05:00 will be repeated daily until further notice.” 
The National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) has announced that it has approved the request of national electricity utility Eskom to separate the operational timelines for the two reactors of the Koeberg nuclear power plant (NPP). Koeberg, located on South Africa’s west coast, near Cape Town, is the country’s (and still Africa’s) only operating NPP. (The continent’s second NPP, El Dabaa in Egypt, is still under construction.) The two reactors were designed Unit 1 and Unit 2. “After completing its safety assessment, the NNR confirmed that the approval of the separation of the units will not impact the safety of the Koeberg nuclear power stations,” reported the regulator, in its press release.
Eskom has taken a major step in unlocking much-needed grid capacity for wind projects in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces by publishing the highly-anticipated curtailment addendum to its latest Generation Connection Capacity Assessment, or GCCA 2025. The addendum, which has been published on Eskom’s website and has been approved by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), states that, by accepting a “reasonable share of no more than 10% of curtailment”, 3 470 MW of additional grid capacity to connect wind generation will be made available, including 2 680 MW in the Western Cape and 790 MW in the Eastern Cape.
Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses government’s proposal to set up a dedicated entity to procure new electricity transmission infrastructure from the private sector and the role government expects the private sector to play in the area of the grid.
Plan to apply the Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS) for low-voltage electric motors in South Africa have been hailed by solutions provider WEG Africa as an exciting step toward energy efficiency and a lower carbon future for the industry. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition recently announced its intention to put a stop to imports of low-efficiency motors – in the power rating range from 0.75 kW to 375 kW – in favour of motors in the efficiency class of IE3 and above.