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Transmission & Distribution News

Eskom ordered to halt power cuts to towns 

By: Reuters     19th January 2017 South African power utility Eskom has been instructed to allow municipalities until January 31 to settle arrears before switching off lights, a Cabinet Minister said on Wednesday. Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said halting electricity supply to towns, who collectively owed more than... 

Committee calls for permanent solution to municipal electricity debt problem 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2017 The Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on Wednesday said it was concerned about Eskom’s plans to cut electricity to certain municipalities that were defaulting on payments and that it would hold a meeting with all the affected parties to find a lasting solution to... 

Eskom cuts power to some defaulting municipalities in North West, Northern Cape

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     18th January 2017 As part of its debt collection efforts, State-owned Eskom on Wednesday started interruptions of bulk electricity supply to some defaulting municipalities in North West and the Northern Cape. The municipalities of Naledi, Lekwa-Teemane and Kgetlengrivier, in North West, as well as the Ubuntu and... 

Eskom cuts power to some defaulting municipalities in North West, Northern Cape

Sanral rehabilitation project derisks Uitenhage power failures 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th January 2017 The completion of an R80-million slope stabilisation engineering project in Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan region, in the Eastern Cape, has prevented the risk of damage to power cables and related blackouts in Uitenhage. The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) said on Tuesday... 

Sanral rehabilitation project derisks Uitenhage power failures

F4SD wants municipal officials fired for not paying Eskom 

By: African News Agency      13th January 2017 Municipalities must fire officials responsible for failing to honour arrangements to pay their debts to Eskom, the Forum 4 Service Delivery (F4SD) said on Friday. “We are concerned that all residents,including those who pay for their electricity will be affected when Eskom starts to cut... 

F4SD wants municipal officials fired for not paying Eskom

Gordhan to act against municipalities which owe Eskom money 

By: News24Wire      12th January 2017 Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said National Treasury will act against municipalities which have failed to settle their debt to Eskom, Fin24’s sister publication Netwerk24 reported. In a letter to Democratic Alliance MP for the Free State David Ross, Gordhan raised his concern over Eskom’s... 

Gordhan to act against municipalities which owe Eskom money

Kenya Power says technical fault causes blackout in Nairobi, other regions 

By: Reuters     9th January 2017 Kenya Power said on Monday a technical fault at one of its substations in the north of the capital has caused an electricity outage that was affecting Nairobi, Mount Kenya and Coast regions. Kenya Power said its technicians were working to restore the supply as soon as possible. 

Sanco urges Cogta to place municipalities defaulting on Eskom payments under administration

By: African News Agency      9th January 2017 The cooperative governance and traditional affairs department (cogta) should place municipalities that have failed to pay their overdue Eskom debt under financial administration, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) said on Sunday. “Invoking section 139 to allow intervention by... 

Sanco urges Cogta to place municipalities defaulting on Eskom payments under administration

Court dismisses Afriforum’s interdict, Eskom to cut off defaulting municipalities

By: African News Agency      5th January 2017 The North Gauteng High Court on Thursday dismissed with costs AfriForum’s application to prevent Eskom from cutting off power of more than seven municipalities who are billions of rand in arrears. This comes after AfriForum and AfriBusiness sought to interdict Eskom’s planned reduction of the... 

Court dismisses Afriforum’s interdict, Eskom to cut off defaulting municipalities

AfriForum to challenge Eskom's right to cut power to municipalities

By: News24Wire      3rd January 2017 AfriForum and its commercial interest group AfriBusiness will apply for an urgent interdict in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday to prevent Eskom from cutting electricity to five municipalities that have not paid their bills. In a statement, the lobby group said it was not fair to cut power... 

AfriForum to challenge Eskom's right to cut power to municipalities

Eskom’s excess generation capacity builds as Kusile Unit 1 ties-in to national grid 

By: Henry Lazenby     28th December 2016 South Africa’s electricity utility Eskom has connected the first power-generating unit of the new Kusile coal-fired power station, in Mpumalanga; reaching the milestone ahead of schedule and adding 800 MW to further stabilise the energy grid. In a statement Tuesday, Eskom said it is making... 

Eskom’s excess generation capacity builds as Kusile Unit 1 ties-in to national grid

Northern Cape wind farms receive main transformers

By: David Oliveira     16th December 2016 The Northern Cape-based Khobab and Loeriesfontein wind farms announced last month that they had received their main transformer, which were transported by road from Johannesburg. The 160 MVA transformers are to be housed in substations, from where all the generated power from the wind farms will... 

Zambia eyes energy diversification, reviews South Africa's progress

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th December 2016 Zambia has started reviewing its options to reverse the country's current energy constraints and diversify its own energy mix, leaving no viable potential initiatives off the table as it seeks to become a "power trader". The mostly hydropowered Southern African country is currently battling... 

Zambia eyes energy diversification, reviews South Africa's progress
Zambian President Edgar Lungu

Public consultations for IRP, IEP get under way as DoE attracts criticism over timelines, pricing basis 

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th December 2016 Planned nationwide public consultations got under way in Boksburg on Wednesday for the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) long-awaited draft Integrated Energy Plan (IEP) and updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), drawing some industry criticism regarding timelines and an outdated pricing structure.... 

Public consultations for IRP, IEP get under way as DoE attracts criticism over timelines, pricing basis

1 500 houses in Risinga View village in Limpopo now have electricity – Eskom

By: African News Agency      6th December 2016 As many as 1 500 houses in Risinga View village, near Giyani in Limpopo, have been connected to the grid allowing them to have electricity for the for the first time, Eskom said on Tuesday. The project at Risinga View started in July 2016 and took four months to complete. It was energised from... 

Eskom outlook still negative, but could change – Moody’s

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th December 2016 Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed State-owned power utility Eskom’s Ba1 senior unsecured and senior unsecured medium-term notes’ ratings, while simultaneously assigning to Eskom a national scale rating of A2.za. The outlook on both ratings is negative. In its statement,... 

Eskom outlook still negative, but could change – Moody’s

Eskom reiterates 50%-plus black ownership requirement for coal suppliers

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     5th December 2016 State-owned electricity provider Eskom on Monday reiterated its commitment to procure coal for its power stations from companies that have a black ownership of more than 50%, throughout the life of the mine. This comes after Exxaro Resources recently revealed a new black economic empowerment... 

Eskom reiterates 50%-plus black ownership requirement for coal suppliers

Illegal electricity connections tripping up service delivery in Cape Town

By: African News Agency      5th December 2016 The City of Cape Town’s electricity services department is facing an uphill battle to prevent illegal connections to the grid, the city said on Sunday. Last week, attempts to disconnect illegal users resulted in violent protest action in Schaapkraal and the Philippi horticultural area. 

86 MW Northern Cape solar photovoltaic plant connected to national grid

By: Dylan Slater     2nd December 2016 Developed on a remote site 50 km south-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape, the 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska photovoltaic (PV) project was connected to the national grid in October, thereby finalising the project on schedule, on budget and reaching full grid code compliance in good time for... 

86 MW Northern Cape solar photovoltaic plant  connected to national grid
MEGA POWER The 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska photovoltaic project has the capacity to power 86 000 homes

Monitoring portal ensures standby power equipment is primed

By: Robyn Wilkinson     2nd December 2016 Power management solutions provider Powermode has introduced its monitoring portal, which provides real-time feedback on the performance of standby power equipment to prevent power failures. 

Monitoring portal ensures standby power equipment is primed
RELIABLE READINGS The Powermode Monitoring Portal provides more accurate information than other systems owing to its ability to measure both the incoming and outgoing current in the battery

Parallel generator plants a cost effective solution 

By: Robyn Wilkinson     2nd December 2016 The parallel synchronisation of smaller generators to achieve the same power outputs as a single large generator offers significant cost-saving benefits to South African businesses that must manage continued grid power supply uncertainties, says generator manufacturer Maverick Generators MD... 

Parallel generator plants a cost  effective solution
ALTERNATE POWER PLANTS Maverick Generator’s eight-unit parallel generator plant has proven to be a cost-effective back-up power solution for an agriculture company in Limpopo

Proposed standards for vegetable oil for use in transformers problematic – engineer

By: Schalk Burger     2nd December 2016 The standards proposed for the production of vegetable oils to use as electricity transformer oil are unnecessary, and prevent the inclusion of smaller producers who stand to benefit most and provide the greatest number of new employment opportunities, says retired chemical engineer John... 

Eskom commissions 765 kV transmission line in Western Cape

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     1st December 2016 State-owned Eskom earlier this week commissioned its 765 kV Kappa–Sterrekus transmission line, connecting the Western Cape to the network over and above the 400 kV network. The 765 kV is one of the highest voltages used for electricity transfer in the world. This line connects Sterrekus’s 765 kV... 

Zimbabwe to implement key regional power inter-connector project in 2018

By: African News Agency      28th November 2016 The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) said it would start working on its component of the regional Zimbabwe-Zambian-Botswana-Namibia (Zizabona) electricity inter-connector project early in 2018. The announcement came shortly after the country received a... 

Rwandan peat-to-power project to generate 80 MW

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     28th November 2016 A $350-million deal has been signed to finance an 80 MW peat-to-power project in Rwanda, which aims to increase access to electricity for the three-quarters of the country’s population that is currently off the grid. The group of signatories includes Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), which is... 

ABB delivers R1.2m substation to CPUT

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     22nd November 2016 Power and automation group ABB will this month deliver a R1.2-million UniPack compact substation to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s (CPUT’s) chemical engineering building, aimed at improving the university’s electrical network monitoring. The substation, the first to be supplied by... 

Operation Khanyisa cuts illegal electricity connections  

     16th November 2016 With electricity theft resulting in about R15.9-billion loss to the country’s municipal accounts every year, Eskom anti-theft campaign Operation Khanyisa is increasing its reach.  

Operation Khanyisa cuts illegal electricity connections
Operation Khanyisa cuts illegal electricity connections

Eskom’s Mbuli named SAIEE’s Engineer of the Year 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     15th November 2016 The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) has named Eskom’s Dr Nhlanhla Mbuli as its Engineer of the Year. The award is given to a member of the SAIEE who has “energetically and voluntary” worked towards promoting electrical science and its applications to the benefit of the... 

Amplats pilots fuel cell rural electrification microgrid 

     9th November 2016 Anglo American Platinum has piloted the electrification of 34 households using a methanol-based fuel cell microgrid over the past 28 months. It will decommission the field trial next month. 

Amplats pilots fuel cell rural electrification microgrid
Amplats pilots fuel cell rural electrification microgrid

Eskom renews commitment to GO15, executive elected to board

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th November 2016 Eskom on Tuesday said it would continue investing in transmission infrastructure, aimed at leveraging advanced technology solutions for a reliable and sustainable power grid. As one of 19 international large power grid operators (PGOs), Eskom is a member of global PGO voluntary initiative GO15,... 

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

By: Kim Cloete     2nd November 2016 The South African Wind Energy Association (Sawea) is considering legal options in a bid to get Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) for round four of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Sawea says 26 projects totalling... 

Sawea considers legal options to get Eskom to sign PPAs

Eskom, IDC study use of vegetable oils in utility transformers

By: Schalk Burger     21st October 2016 Power utility Eskom and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) signed a memorandum of agreement at a technical workshop at the Eskom Academy of Learning, in Midrand, in September to complete feasibility studies to enable the adoption and use of natural esters, or vegetable oils, as... 

Fuel cell field trial providing detailed technical data on rural microgrids

By: Schalk Burger     21st October 2016 A methanol-based fuel cell rural electrification field trial by JSE-listed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) with support from the departments of Mineral Resources, Energy, Science and Technology and Trade and Industry, Eskom and the Moqhaka Municipality has provided detailed data on the use of... 

New Eaton Africa MD to put his energy into powering Africa

By: Schalk Burger     14th October 2016 Newly appointed power quality and management multinational Eaton Africa MD Seydou Kane is passionate about helping Africa overcome its energy deficit and unlock its growth potential by leveraging the company’s international experience and collaboration. The French-speaking, Niger-born Kane has... 

New Eaton Africa MD to put his energy  into powering Africa
SEYDOU KANE Eaton will leverage its experience to ensure that suitable solutions and effective designs are deployed

Operation Khanyisa cracks down on illegal electricity connections in North West

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     12th October 2016 Through Operation Khanyisa, a national partnership campaign established in 2010 by power utility Eskom and other organisations to fight electricity theft, illegal connections in the North West’s Chaneng village, where electricity theft is widespread, were removed on Wednesday. North West, along... 

Fuel cell field trial provides technical data on rural microgrids 

By: Schalk Burger     5th October 2016 A methanol-based fuel cell rural electrification field trial by JSE-listed Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) with support from the departments of Mineral Resources, Energy, Science and Technology and Trade and Industry, Eskom and the Moqhaka Municipality has provided detailed data on the use of... 

Fuel cell field trial provides technical data on rural microgrids
Photo by Duane Daws
Amplats CEO's office: technical assistant Stephen Bullock, Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant, Amplats market development principal Angelin Maharaj and Amplats technical and engineering consultant Clive Seymour

Siemens SA eyes global market entry with fourth-generation substation 

     4th October 2016 Siemens South Africa has unveiled its new 11 MW fully automated direct current containerised trolley assist substation, which has been introduced at a mine in Namibia, to set the platform for an international entry.  

Siemens SA eyes global market entry with fourth-generation substation
Siemens SA eyes global market entry with fourth-generation substation
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