WATCH | Red tape thwarting SA’s green energy projects - analyst

2019-08-22 07:57
The hydropower plant stands among the trees on the mountainside of the estate in Franschhoek. (Screengrab)

The hydropower plant stands among the trees on the mountainside of the estate in Franschhoek. (Screengrab)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

It's been a long seven years for the L'Ormarins wine estate in Franschhoek, which took on the task of building a hydroelectric plant in 2012.

The Western Cape farm, owned by billionaire businessman Johann Rupert, is today solely powered by the R70m plant. 

The small plant is estimated to generate about 6.3 million kWHrs per year, of which an estimated 3.5 million kWHrs could be plugged into the ailing national grid after powering all operations on both L'Ormarins and sister estate Anthonij Rupert wines, according to estate manager Robert Hobson.

Hobson told News24 that, after overcoming several hurdles, the estate had finally obtained a generator licence in 2015. 

In 2016, they signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom that was valid for one year, but the contract was not renewed.

The power utility allegedly gave no reason for this. 

READ MORE | Eskom: SA on brink of load shedding

Hobson said they had been sent from pillar to post since trying to secure the paperwork that would allow them to sell surplus energy to Eskom. 

Energy analyst Chris Yelland believes small embedded independent power producers - such as the L'Ormarins hydro plant - can play a very significant and important role in delivering new generation capacity quickly in South Africa, which no other generation source can meet.

"If there are short term needs for new generation capacities this cannot be met by new coal, cannot be met by new nuclear, cannot even be met in a year by utility-scale, large IPPs," he said.

However, Yelland said small-scale projects were hampered by daunting red tape and that this was to South Africa's detriment.

News24 contacted Eskom for comment on the issue, but was redirected to the Department of Energy, who had not responded by the time of publication, despite several attempts.

In this special video feature, News24 delves into the struggles that independent power producers face.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    eskom  |  johann rupert  |  cape town  |  power generation  |  renewable energy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.