Cape Town - The Stellenbosch Municipality in the Western Cape is determined to alleviate load shedding for its residents.
In a statement released on Thursday, executive mayor advocate Gesie van Deventer said it had become imperative for municipalities to start investigating alternative energy sources.
She said a request to commence with an investigation into the use and generation of alternate electricity supplies was adopted by the Stellenbosch council on Wednesday.
“The decision puts Stellenbosch in the lead to potentially become the first municipality in the country to eliminate load shedding.
“The promulgation of the Electricity Regulation Act regulations in October 2020 opened the door for municipalities to start investigating how they can generate their own electricity and purchase electricity from independent power producers (IPP).
“We are proud to be the first out of the starting blocks in this regard,” Van Deventer said.
She said while the road ahead may be long, the drive may culminate in energy independence and long-term sustainability as the municipality starts its journey. The adoption of the report by council has paved the way for an investigation into the need, viability and opportunities to be conducted, she said.
“In addition to benefiting from years of sustained good governance, our municipality is in the fortunate position of having some of the brightest minds in the energy sector right on our doorstep.
“We will be able to make use of brilliant internal research entities, experts at the University of Stellenbosch, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Western Cape government as part of our joint investigation,” Van Deventer said.
The investigation will focus on potential sources of energy production, which include rooftop solar panels and methane mining, allowing the public to generate electricity and sell it to the municipality, purchasing electricity directly from registered IPPs and possibly selling electricity to buyers from outside the municipality.
“As South Africa’s leading valley of opportunity and innovation, we look forward to walking alongside our research partners on the journey towards energy independence.
“We are committed to conducting our investigation in a scientifically rigorous and transparent manner and will be providing more details on this venture once the findings of the investigation are tabled before council,” Van Deventer said.
African News Agency (ANA)