Eskom on R118bn expansion project to add 30GW over 10 years
JOHANNESBURG – Eskom said on Tuesday that it planned to add 30 gigawatts of new generation capacity to the power system over the next 10 years as it embarks on an R118 billion transmission expansion project.
This as Eskom unveiled its Transmission Development Plan (TDP) for the period 2021 to 2030 to various stakeholders during a public forum hosted online.
This is part of Eskom’s Transmission licence requirements issued by the National Energy Regulator of SA (Nersa), which calls for Eskom to publish a TDP annually.
Eskom group executive for transmission Segomoco Scheppers said a significant number of investments were required to strengthen the transmission grid to accommodate the new generation capacity in accordance with the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP2019).
Scheppers said the utility wanted to increase the transmission infrastructure by 5 650km of high-voltage lines and add 41 595 megavolt amperes of transformer capacity in the next 10 years.
“There is a clear and compelling case for significant transmission network expansion critical for the connection of utility-scale renewable generation projects, mainly wind and solar,” Scheppers said. “[This is] in line with policy direction highlighted in the IRP2019 and the Grid Code, namely, to diversify the country’s energy mix and to provide non-discriminatory access to the grid.”
Since the publication of the last TDP in 2019, a number of transmission substations and transformer capacity enhancement projects were commissioned in support of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) Programme.
This was in conjunction with network strengthening for the commissioning of the Eskom generation, network reliability and the integration of committed customers.
Thirteen additional IPP projects in Bid Window 4 were integrated into the national transmission grid, providing about 866MW of energy.
The integration of these IPP projects was underpinned by investments in new substations and transformer capacity enhancements, mainly in the Northern Cape.
Scheppers said the bulk of the new renewable generation capacity was located in areas with very limited network infrastructure.
“In order to provide an adequate and reliable transmission system, the total transmission capital plan in this period amounts to approximately R118 billion,” he said.
“This is mainly associated with network requirements for the new anticipated generation capacity, to meet the future demand growth in the country, to ensure reliability and security of supply, and to sustain the existing and ageing transmission network infrastructure that requires substantial investments in refurbishments as well.”