South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has issued requests for proposal (RFPs) for the construction of two solar-powered seawater desalination plants and a hybrid renewables-battery facility to service its Nelson Mandela Bay ports, in the Eastern Cape. TNPA is seeking bidders capable of designing, constructing and operating solar-powered seawater desalination plants with a capacity of 0.8 megalitres and 0.5 megalitres of potable water, respectively, for the ports of Port Elizabeth and Ngqura.
Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has signed a ten-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Etana Energy for 43 GWh of renewable energy yearly, which will result in wind and solar supplying 70% of the iconic mixed-use property’s electricity by early 2026. The PPA follows a similar deal between Etana Energy and Growthpoint Properties for 195 GWh of renewable energy annually, representing 32% of the property group’s total yearly consumption. Growthpoint Properties is the joint owner of the V&A Waterfront with the Public Investment Corporation.
Having recently confirmed a decoupling of its just energy transition strategy from the decommissioning of its coal-fired power stations, Eskom is aiming to finalise business cases for a pipeline of renewable energy and battery storage projects, some of which could be deployed in close proximity to its existing coal stations. CEO Dan Marokane reports that that its so-called repowering and repurposing pipeline includes 50 projects with a combined capacity of 2 172 MW and which could create 1 754 permanent jobs.
Eskom CEO Dan Marokane has confirmed that the National Transmission Company South Africa (NTCSA) is on track to begin trading on July 1 and that the new entity was being set up to operate as a fully independent subsidiary even though it would continue to be owned by Eskom Holdings and be located on the Megawatt Park campus. At a briefing hosted to enable Marokane to reflect on his first 100 days and to outline his strategic priorities, the CEO underlined that the NTCSA’s independent board was determined to provide “equal access” to the network as envisaged when the unbundling was initiated.
Amid all the political upheaval, work is continuing with plans to pilot a model for introducing independent transmission projects. Engineering News editor Terence Creamer discusses the prospects.  
The National Treasury has confirmed that South Africa is moving to pilot a model that will enable the private sector to participate directly in the development and operation of transmission grid infrastructure, drawing lessons from the country’s experience in procuring generation capacity from independent power producers (IPPs). Deputy director-general Mmakgoshi Lekhethe reports that the model, which has been mooted by Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa for some time, is receiving priority attention in light of the scale of the investment required to unlock grid capacity for new renewables investment,
Independent power producer Decentral Energy has commissioned a 1 MW solar PV system at food producer GWK’s Farm Foods Christiana maize mill. The ground-mounted, grid-tied solar PV system, which was designed and constructed by engineering, procurement and construction contractor Energy Gurus, will significantly reduce GWK Farm Foods Christiana maize mill’s reliance on traditional grid power and contribute to the company’s sustainability and energy security goals.
Telecommunications group MTN Business has been awarded a three-year contract to enhance the digitisation – through the implementation of smart electricity and water technology – across South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The RT29 transversal contract, awarded by National Treasury, will see MTN Business, starting from this month, supply, deliver, install, manage and maintain end-to-end smart metering solutions across the country.
Telecommunications group MTN Business has been awarded a three-year contract to enhance the digitisation – through the implementation of smart electricity and water technology – across South Africa’s 257 municipalities. The RT29 transversal contract, awarded by National Treasury, will see MTN Business, starting from this month, supply, deliver, install, manage and maintain end-to-end smart metering solutions across the country.
Businesses are increasingly prioritising the procurement of renewable energy, and especially solar energy, owing to loadshedding, electricity cost increases and risks associated with high carbon footprints, but run the risk of increasing their total energy costs, including from variability challenges. Analysis by renewable energy for business platform Discovery Green shows that the solution to these challenges lies in diversification, both in terms of energy generation and consumption, in line with traditional insurance principles of risk pooling and diversification.