Areas and Places News

City of Cape Town to launch R1.2bn solar PV plant

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The City of Cape Town will design, build, and operate a R1.2 billion solar photovoltaic (PV) plant with battery storage capable of providing up to a full stage of load shedding protection – one of the two projects awarded support from the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF) which offers cities technical and financial assistance in support of a green and just transition.

The City’s Paardevlei ground mounted solar PV and battery storage project, just outside of Somerset West, will yield up to 60MW of renewable energy – enough to protect against one full stage of Eskom’s load shedding. The C40 CFF will support the project team in their efforts to undertake a technical feasibility study.

This project is another critical step in our journey away from Eskom reliance and towards a load shedding-free Cape Town. We are confident that Cape Town will be the first metro to free our economy from power disruptions, and ensure a green and just energy transition,” commented Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

The feasibility study for the Paardevlei plant will be completed by the end of 2023, with the full commissioning of the plant estimated to take place by August 2026. The plant is envisaged for a portion of Paardevlei that is not developable for human settlements purposes.

Mayor Hill-Lewis recently tabled the City’s ‘Building Hope Budget’ for 2023/2024 with a R2.3 billion ‘end load shedding’ plan over three years inclusive of funding towards the Paardevlei solar PV plant.

On the 6th of April 2023, the City issued its largest power tender yet seeking to buy 500MW of dispatchable energy on the open market. This is the final phase of a three-phase procurement to protect residents from the first four stages of Eskom’s load-shedding within three years.

Contracts for a 200MW renewable energy procurement from Independent Power Producers will be awarded within 2023. The Power Heroes Programme tender is expected to be awarded within the next few weeks, which will entail incentivised voluntary energy savings via automated remote switching off of power-intensive devices at peak times.

Cape Town is the first city in the country to offer households and businesses cash for power from their solar PV systems, with the feed-in tariff set to increase by 10.15% for 2023/2024 plus a 25c per kWh incentive.