15 firms to sell electricity to Cape Town

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has announced that 15 commercial electricity suppliers will start wheeling electricity through Cape Town’s grid following city council approval later this month.

This, after the city’s mayoral committee this week greenlit the authorisation for third-parties to start selling electricity using Cape Town’s grid infrastructure.

According to the city, electricity wheeling is one way to help address the country’s energy shortages and Cape Town “is leading the way nationally with a unique wheeling pilot project which will culminate in the full-scale implementation of wheeling in the city by the end of the year”.

“Wheeling allows people to buy electricity from each other using existing grid infrastructure. The future is now, as Cape Town gears up for the first electron to be wheeled between our pilot project participants this July,” says Lewis.

“This is the business end of our pilot, following the development of the billing engine and the completion of wheeling agreements. Cape Town’s electricity landscape is rapidly liberalising off the back of our end load-shedding plans, with 700MW of independent power under procurement, innovative Cash for Power and Power Heroes programmes, and now the sale of electricity wheeled between market participants.”

Last year, the city invited applications to participate in the wheeling pilot, with 15 participants (representing 25 generators and 40 customers) now confirmed and about to start wheeling.

“The city is getting on top of the complexity of wheeling, which requires new skills, regulatory and policy changes, billing development and bilateral agreements. Our programme will allow electricity to be wheeled over both the municipal and Eskom distribution networks in Cape Town,” says councillor Beverley van Reenen, mayoral committee member for energy.

“Sales will be governed by bilateral power purchase agreements within a market environment, as opposed to a regulated environment, as the price of the energy is set between the parties and not by the city, Eskom or the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.”

Cape Town also already has the enabling legislative framework in place for wheeling, with the city’s Electricity Supply By-Law allowing for the retail wheeling of electricity through the network. Wheeling will take place on 11kV and higher voltages.

The 15 wheeling pilot participants who submitted valid applications to generate and sell power are:

1. Amazon Data Service

2. Brinmar Private Energy

3. Distributed Power Africa

4. Energy Exchange of Southern Africa

5. Energy Partners Utilities

6. EnerJ Carbon Management

7. Enpower Trading

8. Floating Solar

9. Make a Difference Ventures

10. NEURA Trading

11. Phofu Solar Plant

12. POWERX Proprietary

13. Redefine Properties

14. Solar Africa Energy

15. Swish Property Seven

See also