Cape Town’s power wheeling project goes live

Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 15 Sept 2023
The pilot project will lay the groundwork for future power wheeling in Cape Town.
The pilot project will lay the groundwork for future power wheeling in Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town’s electricity wheeling project is now live, after the first electrons of’ green energy were wheeled via the city’s energy grid this week.

According to a statement, Growthpoint Properties became the first party to wheel renewable electricity, when solar power from the Growthpoint-owned Constantia Village shopping centre was successfully injected into the city’s energy grid.

This was made possible through a collaboration with licensed solar power producer Etana Energy.

In May 2022, the City of Cape Town announced the launch of its first electricity wheeling research pilot project. At the time, the city called on interested parties to apply to become part of the initiative.

It involves the wheeling of electricity to customers who want to buy energy from third-party suppliers that source the electricity from generators connected to Eskom or city electricity grids.

“Overall, Cape Town is planning to add up to one gigawatt of independent power to end load-shedding in the city over time. The exact mix may vary, but we expect wheeling to contribute up to 350MW to the grid in time,” says mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

“Congratulations to the pioneering private sector players who successfully wheeled the very first electrons, and thanks to the city’s team who worked to get the enabling legislation, billing engine and wheeling agreements in place.”

The city’s six-month pilot project now includes 15 wheeling energy participants representing 25 generators and 40 customers, it says.

The pilot will lay the groundwork for future wheeling in Cape Town and enable businesses to use energy from rooftop solar panels across multiple locations, encouraging them to optimise solar capacity instead of limiting it to individual building use, adds the city.

Cape Town's plans to end load-shedding include paying households and businesses in the ‘Cash for Power’ project generated by solar photovoltaic power (PV), the ‘Power Heroes’ incentive scheme for households to reduce energy demand, solar PV farms and further optimising the Steenbras Hydropower Plant.