Cape Town has become the first city to allow residential households to earn cash for power from their solar PV generation systems.
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said that households have until March 8, 2024 to participate in the first round of applications for the Cash for Power programme which will allow them to earn cash from selling their excess solar power to the City of Cape Town.
Mayor Hill-Lewis was speaking at the launch of the City’s Energy Strategy at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on 12 February. The strategy sets out a roadmap to 2050, including short-term plans to protect against the first four stages of Eskom load-shedding by 2026.
The mayor said that Cape Town has become the first city with a formally adopted Energy Strategy, which outlines plans to end load-shedding.
“In the short-term, we are planning for four stages of load-shedding protection by 2026, as we make the transition from unreliable, costly and fossil fuel based Eskom energy, to an increasingly decentralised supply of reliable, cost-effective, carbon neutral energy from a diverse range of suppliers,” Mayor Hill-Lewis said.
According to Mayor Hill-Lewis, the city will buy as much solar power as households and businesses can sell under the Cash for Power programme. Households can also volunteer for our Power Heroes programme to remotely switch off geysers at peak times in a bid to avoid a full stage of load shedding.
Businesses will also be able to sell power to each other and wheel it across the grid, which will add 350MW of decentralised power to Cape Town’s grid in time.
According to the mayor, short-term load-shedding mitigation up to 2026 will be achieved largely through a mix of
– Steenbras Hydro Plant (1 – 2 stages)
– 500MW of dispatchable energy (up to four stages from 06:00 – 22:00 daily where possible); and
– demand management programmes such as Power Heroes and Large Power Users (LPUs) curtailment.
Mayor Hill-Lewis said: “Overall, Cape Town is planning to add up to one gigawatt of independent power supply to end load-shedding in the city over time, with the first 650MW of this within five years, including enough to protect against four Eskom load-shedding stages by 2026.”
Load shedding crisis
Mayor Hill-Lewis further noted that despite President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promises in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) around ending the load-shedding crisis, the load shedding has gotten considerably worse after every such promise.
Two days after Sona, Eskom announced that Stage 6 would be implemented indefinitely after two generating units were taken offline. On Sunday, the Minister of Electricity Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said that load shedding was likely ease down by Wednesday.
Ramokgopa said that nine units failed over the course of two days resulting in a grid loss of 4,400 megawatts, plunging the country into stage 6 load shedding.
How to apply to get Cash for Power
It is important to note that Cape Town residents that only want to offset their electricity and rates accounts should not apply and will automatically be compensated on authorisation of their grid-tied SSEG system with feed-in.
If customers are interested to go above and beyond this, they can register and get cash for their power. Councillor Van Reenen said that any remaining credit will accumulate until it reaches a certain amount and then the City will pay them out.
Cash for Power applications are open for all residential customers on the home user tariff with an approved grid-tied SSEG system and bi-directional AMI meter to feed power back into the grid.
For more information, people need visit: https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Electricity/apply-to-sell-surplus-sseg-energy-to-the-city
Households that are interested in the cash for power programme are required to first be registered as a service provider on both the City Supplier Database and the National Treasury Web Based Central Supplier Database (CSD). They can register on the following links:
– City of Cape Town’s Supplier Database registration: https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Register/Business-and-trade/Register-as-a-supplier
– National Treasury Web Based Central Supplier Database (CSD) registration: https://secure.csd.gov.za
Cash for Power applications for this round should be submitted to [email protected] by 8 March 2024.
As per Supply Chain rules, successful Cash for Power sellers will contract with the City for a period of three years after appointment.