City of Cape Town to petition court to allow electricity purchases from IPPs

2019-02-26 15:24
Electricity pylons (File)

Electricity pylons (File)

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City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for energy and climate change, Phindile Maxiti, says the City will petition the Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to expedite the matter to allow not only Cape Town, but other municipalities to be able to purchase energy from independent power producers (IPPs).

"We are doing everything possible to move away from sole reliance on Eskom for our energy needs while, at the same time, trying to become more resilient and sustainable through the use of cleaner energy, such as renewable energy and transitional fuels such as natural gas," said Maxiti.

In 2017, the City served the Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) with court papers challenging the so-called "single-buyer" model in South Africa, whereby Eskom is given exclusive right to produce electricity from generators of electricity for resale, including electricity from renewable energy IPPs.

"The price of power generated from IPPs would differ based on technology and the procurement process to be followed if the court case is successful," Maxiti said.

ALSO READ: Cities must be allowed to source energy - Maimane on load shedding

The City wants a Section 34 determination, in accordance with the New Generation Capacity Regulations in the Electricity Generation Act, to allow them to procure up to 400MW of renewable energy from IPPs.

Maxiti said that the City, and indeed the country, could not afford to suffer any more economic devastation from load shedding, adding that, "given the governance issues that have again been raised regarding Eskom, it provides further imperative to ensure that we produce diversified energy sources".

"If we are allowed to procure renewable energy, we can reduce the long-term electricity costs for our residents and provide cleaner power. Currently, some 65% of the tariff that we charge customers for electricity goes toward the cost to buy electricity from Eskom.

"Metros must become the energy champions of their residents and of their commercial sector players," she added.

Read more on:    city of cape town  |  cape town  |  electricity  |  courts  |  service delivery
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