Cape Town’s electricity wheeling pilot gets the greenlight

Fifteen commercial electricity suppliers will start wheeling electricity through Cape Town’s grid following the greenlight from the City of Cape Town’s Council for third parties to start selling electricity using Cape Town’s grid infrastructure.

Electricity wheeling is one way to help address SA’s energy shortages and Cape Town is leading the way nationally with a unique wheeling project that will culminate in the full-scale implementation of wheeling in the city by the end of 2023.

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. 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,” commented the City’s Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

In 2022, the City invited applications to participate in the wheeling pilot with fifteen applicants (representing 25 generators and 40 customers) now confirmed and about to start wheeling.

Our programme will allow electricity to be wheeled over both the municipal and Eskom distribution networks in Cape Town. 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 (NERSA),” said Councillor Beverley van Reenen, Mayoral Committee Member for Energy.

Cape Town also already has the enabling legislative framework in place for wheeling, withthe 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 fifteen wheeling pilot participants who submitted valid applications to generate and sell power are:

  1. Amazon Data Service South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  2. Brinmar Private Energy Trading South Africa
  3. Distributed Power Africa (Pty) Ltd
  4. Energy Exchange of Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd
  5. Energy Partners Utilities (RF) (Pty) Ltd
  6. EnerJ Carbon Management
  7. Enpower Trading (Pty) Ltd
  8. Floating Solar (Pty) Ltd
  9. Make a Difference Ventures GP LLC.
  10. NEURA Trading (Pty) Ltd
  11. Phofu Solar Plant (RF) (Pty) Ltd
  12. POWERX Proprietary Limited
  13. Redefine Properties Limited
  14. Solar Africa Energy (Pty) Ltd
  15. Swish Property Seven (Pty) Ltd