The City says its Steenbras plant is ready for action if winter months bring load-shedding. The Electricity Generation and Distribution Department has been working nonstop to ensure that the necessary maintenance work on the Steenbras Dam pumped storage scheme is complete in time for the winter months when energy usage usually increases.
The maintenance work on the pumped storage scheme, which included the internal inspection of the 132kV switchgear and overhead line repairs among others, has been completed in time for the winter months ahead.
The Mayoral Committee Member for Energy and Climate Change, Phindile Maxiti, says this means they will be able to assist City-supplied customers if we have spare generation capacity.
“In winter, peak time typically falls between 18:00 and 20:00 in the evenings. Outside of that window, the City may at times have spare capacity which can be used to offset load-shedding during Stage 1 or reduce a higher stage to a lower stage e.g. from Stage 2 to Stage 1. It shows how important it is for municipalities to be able to use various sources of energy and not to be primarily dependent on one source as provided by one provider such as Eskom. If we were to be allowed to purchase power from independent power producers in addition to that which we have access to from Eskom, we would be able to make use of some cleaner and diversified resources which we could also harness to increase energy security for our residents. That is why we have a pending court action where the City is seeking to be allowed to purchase energy from independent power producers (IPPs). Currently, this is not allowed.”
Maxiti says with the winter months upon us, residents are encouraged to look at ways to use energy wisely as traditionally energy usage goes up in winter, especially in the evening peak time.
Visit the City’s electricity saving page www.savingelectricity.org.za for more.