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Transmission & Distribution News

Investment in solar has overtaken coal globally, says IEA

By: Kim Cloete     16th November 2017 Breaking all-time records, renewables currently account for two thirds of global net capacity additions, according to one of several reports about how renewable energy is powering ahead. The trend is set to continue. “All renewables will grow at double the velocity of fossil fuels within the next... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

By: Anine Kilian     14th November 2017 Trade union Solidarity has ranked South African Airways (SAA) as the most poorly managed State-owned enterprise (SOE) in the country. Speaking at the launch of its latest report ‘South African State Institutions and the Value for Tax Money’, on Wednesday, Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said SAA... 

Solidarity ranks SOEs, lambastes 'cadre merry-go-round'

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan

By: Terence Creamer     13th November 2017 Hidroelectrica Cahora Bassa (HCB), the Mozambique concession company which operates the Cahora Bassa dam and the 2 075 MW hydropower plant, is poised to move into a period of sustained investment, having settled all debt associated with the 2007 transfer of ownership of the scheme from Portugal... 

As Mozambique marks historic Cahora Bassa transfer, attention shifts to big capex plan
Cahora Bassa: HCB to commemorate historic transfer of ownership of Cahora Bassa from Portugal to Mozambique on November 27

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution

By: Nadine James     10th November 2017 National research institution Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) collaboration with valve manufacturer Paltechnologies (Paltech) has led to the first locally manufactured aluminium valve. To date, about 1 000 butterfly valves, each 80 mm in diameter, have been manufactured... 

1 000 locally manufactured valves sold to aid electrical power distribution
PALTECH BUTTERFLY VALVE Forms part of a number of products selected by Eskom for localisation

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities  

By: Simone Liedtke     10th November 2017 A key focus point of the African Energy Indaba (AEI) – which celebrates its ten-year milestone next year – is to provide access to project opportunities across the African continent. 

Upcoming energy event to showcase African project opportunities
Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) MD Liz Hart, AEI chairperson Brian Statham and South African Electrotechnical Export Council CEO Chiboni Evans discuss the AEI next year. Camera: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva.

Manufacturing Circle implores Eskom to do internal clean-up before seeking electricity tariff increase

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th November 2017 Around 88% of respondents in the Manufacturing Circle Investment Tracker survey for the third quarter noted that they still relied on electricity as the primary energy source for their organisation, followed by gas and other energy sources. For this reason, the Manufacturing Circle is imploring... 

Manufacturing Circle implores Eskom to do internal clean-up before seeking electricity tariff increase
Photo by Duane Daws
Manufacturing Circle chairperson Andre de Ruyter

Johannesburg faces R17bn electricity infrastructure challenge

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th November 2017 The undoings of the previous administration has resulted in the City of Johannesburg requiring an investment of around R17-billion over the next ten years to upgrade its ageing electricity infrastructure. City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said his administration was facing serious... 

Johannesburg faces R17bn electricity infrastructure challenge

Trillian whistleblower says Eskom’s Singh paid R30.6m for no reason

By: African News Agency      3rd November 2017 A whistleblower on Friday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom the power utility settled a fraudulent invoice from Trillian for R30.6-million. Former Trillian Management Consulting (TMC) chief executive Bianca Goodson said she found her signature on a cover letter to the invoice that was... 

South Africa’s capital city replacing electricity meters after court ruling

By: African News Agency      2nd November 2017 South Africa’s capital city is replacing thousands of electricity meters after the high court ruled that the contract for their procurement was invalid, an official said on Thursday. Cilliers Brink, member of the mayoral committee for the municipality of Tshwane, which incorporates the capital... 

Treasury grilled on R74bn deviation procurement

By: News24Wire      2nd November 2017 Treasury's Director General Dondo Mogajane was grilled by members of SCOPA on Wednesday on how it was possible for state entities and institutions to have been allowed to deviate from required procurement processes to the tune of a total of R74-billion in 2016/17. While the public procurement... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG 

By: African News Agency      1st November 2017 Irregular expenditure by government departments and State-owned entities has ballooned by over 50% in 2016/2017 when compared to the previous financial year, topping R45-billion, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed on Tuesday. “Irregular expenditure has increased by 55% since the previous year... 

Heavy increase in irregular expenditure in South Africa, now pegged above R45bn, says AG
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu

City of Joburg's anti-corruption unit makes major bust 

By: News24Wire      1st November 2017 The City of Johannesburg’s anti-corruption unit made one of its biggest busts since its inception a year ago, with about R80-million worth of City Power equipment seized from sub-contractors. The City's anti-corruption unit, which was established by Mayor Herman Mashaba last year, and headed by... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid

     27th October 2017 Loeriesfontein Wind Farm as well as Khobab Wind Farm, both located in the Northern Cape, are now connected to State-owned power utility Eskom’s grid, through Eskom’s Helios substation and the commissioning of wind turbines has started. “We energised the wind farm substations with Eskom... 

Loeriesfontein Wind Farm connected to grid
STATE CONNECTIONS Loeriesfontein and Khobab should start supplying electricity to the national grid by early December, in the meantime the developers continue to work closely with Eskom

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 The prospects for wind power within and beyond the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) will be discussed at this year’s Windaba conference and exhibition, exploring opportunities outside South Africa’s borders, and consider ways of establishing cross-border... 

Conference aims to strengthen cross-border relations
ANSWERS IN THE WIND The Windaba programme has been designed to be relevant regardless of whether the mid-term outlook is good or uncertain

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors

By: Nadine James     27th October 2017 Shorter fabrication time, lower costs for parts, and increased repeatability and uniformity have led to impressive improvements in the wind energy sector, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa power director Dinesh Buldoo. “For instance, there is significant focus on advanced... 

Wind energy sector still attractive to investors
DINESH BULDOO WSP Africa states that several wind projects have progressed through the planning pipeline, and the industry continues to generate significant investor and developer interest

Eskom a ‘risk to entire economy’, Gigaba says as he reaffirms unaffordability of nuclear 

By: Terence Creamer     25th October 2017 As guarantor over a significant portion of Eskom’s debt, the prevailing governance problems at the State-owned utility were of “grave concern” and had become an “enormous risk” to government and the entire economy, Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Wednesday. Delivering his first Medium-Term... 

Eskom a ‘risk to entire economy’, Gigaba says as he reaffirms unaffordability of nuclear

New initiative to be launched at tenth Africa Energy Indaba

By: Simone Liedtke     24th October 2017 In the run-up to the tenth yearly Africa Energy Indaba (AEI) in February, the South African Electrotechnical Export Council (SAEEC) on Tuesday announced that it would launch its African Energy Consultants initiative at the event. The SAAEC, which is a partner of the AEI Trade Association that... 

Brian Molefe’s young wife boosted his pension payout

By: News24Wire      20th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's marriage to Arethur Moagi in December 2016 boosted his pension payout, according to Sibusiso Luthuli, CEO of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF). Luthuli was briefing Parliament’s public enterprises committee as part of its state capture inquiry. 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

By: Terence Creamer     19th October 2017 State-owned electricity utility Eskom says all connection costs relating to 27 outstanding renewable-energy projects have been included in its latest Transmission Development Plan (TDP), which covers the ten-year period from 2018 to 2027. The renewable-energy projects were legally procured in... 

Eskom’s new R174bn grid plan includes R18bn for IPP connections

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry 

     19th October 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about the appointment of David Mahlobo as the new Energy Minister. 

What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry
What the Cabinet reshuffle means for the electricity supply industry

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony

By: Kim Cloete     18th October 2017 Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames has revealed that he faced a breakdown in communication between the board and management, as well as death threats during his time at the state utility.  He has also told Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises that there is "absolutely no need" for... 

‘Absolutely no need' for nuclear, Dames says in State-capture testimony
Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture

By: Kim Cloete     17th October 2017 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises has kicked off its inquiry into alleged State capture with a report revealing “overwhelming evidence of grand corruption”, governance failure and a stream of irregularities at Eskom, South Africa’s largest State-owned entity. Research... 

Evidence of blatant corruption at Eskom unpacked at Parliament’s inquiry into State capture
Research professor Anton Eberhard

Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

By: Terence Creamer     16th October 2017 The transition from centralised electricity systems to ones that increasingly comprise both large-scale centralised resources and distributed energy resources (DERs) is under way globally. However, to successfully manage the shift will depend substantially on sending the right economic signals, a... 

 Sending right economic signals key to integration of distributed energy resources

Eskom suspends power cuts in MP municipality after receiving payment

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 South African power utility Eskom on Monday suspended its planned supply interruption to the Govan Mbeki local municipality in Mpumalanga after it reached a payment agreement with the municipality. This comes after Eskom started cutting the power supply to Govan Mbeki Local municipality from... 

DA to report minister Brown to public protector and ethics committee over Eskom contract

By: African News Agency      16th October 2017 The Democratic Alliance (DA) will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for any role she played in awarding lucrative oil contracts worth R1.2-million from Eskom “to her lover and close business associate” despite their lack of expertise in... 

Court declares contract between City of Tshwane, two service providers invalid

By: African News Agency      13th October 2017 The North Gauteng High Court on Friday declared a contract between the City of Tshwane and two service providers PEU Capital Partners and it’s subsidiary TUMS invalid. The court ordered that the R950-million, placed in a special trust account set up for the purchase of PEU’s infrastructure, to be... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale battery storage prospects improve

By: Mia Breytenbach     13th October 2017 Following the release of an energy storage techno-economic study ‘The South Africa Energy Storage Technology and Market Assessment’, advocating that South Africa requires market preparation to take advantage of growth opportunities in the stationary and mobility value chains of energy storage,... 

SA weighs market opportunities as utility-scale  battery storage prospects improve

SA black consumer body urges regulator to reject Eskom’s tariff hike application

By: African News Agency      11th October 2017 The National Black Consumer Council (NBCC) on Wednesday said that it opposed Eskom’s proposed application for a 20% electricity tariff increase next year. TheNBCC urged the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to reject the troubled power utility’s application and rather grant it “a... 

Black Business Council says Eskom CEO musical chairs doesn’t inspire confidence 

By: African News Agency      9th October 2017 The Black Business Council (BBC) said on Monday that it was concerned by the sudden change of leadership at State-owned power utility Eskom, saying that government must give the enterprise some space and not meddle in its affairs. This comes after Eskom last week appointed its chief information... 

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?

     29th September 2017 In this opinion piece, Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa expresses the hope that both the current moratorium on new renewable-energy projects and the proposed 77c/kWh tariff cap will be reconsidered during industry consultations.  

Opinion: Minister Kubayi’s Renewable Energy Plan: Does it signify progress or regression?
Sener regional MD Siyabonga Mbanjwa

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet

By: News24Wire      28th September 2017 Business Leadership South Africa on Thursday booted out State-owned entities Eskom and Transnet for their involvement in corruption and State capture with immediate effect. The announcement comes as BLSA launched its #BusinessBelieves campaign in Cape Town, where it signed a “contract” with South... 

BLSA suspends 'corrupt' Eskom and Transnet
Photo by Duane Daws
BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike  

     22nd September 2017 Creamer Media’s Samantha Herbst talks to Engineering News editor Terence Creamer about what can be expected from Eskom’s application for a 19.9% tariff hike. 

Toxic environment to galvanise opposition as Eskom seeks 19.9% hike
A look into Eskom’s double-digit tariff hike application

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation

By: Terence Creamer     22nd September 2017 Researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand are aiming to commercialise a plug-and-play DC-microgrid innovation, which is incrementally scalable to any number of power sources, loads and batteries. The direct-current solution has already been proved at a laboratory level through a test-bed... 

Wits seeks commercial partner for scalable DC-microgrid innovation
Professor Willie Cronje

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 With unplanned interruptions being the greatest risk to distributing power at substations when reserve power fails to support the system, industrial battery management system (BMS) manufacturer Balancell uses precise BMS instrumentation, software and connectivity to continuously monitor battery... 

Battery management systems reduce risk of unplanned interruptions
CELL BALANCING Balancing the charge of individual cells in a battery can prolong battery life

Digital switchgear launched in China

By: Victor Moolman     22nd September 2017 At an ABB customer event at the Hangzhou International Expo Center, in China, last month, ABB launched its MNS Digital switchgear, which enables electrification systems to become part of the Internet of Things (IoT). ABB product marketing director Avi Ramdhin explains that the MNS Digital is... 

Digital switchgear launched in China
Photo by Duane Daws
DIGITAL ALARM The switchgear can send alarm notifications to specific people via many channels

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas

     22nd September 2017 Suited for off-grid households’ electrification, the Mobiya TS 170S portable solar LED lantern is being distributed by electrical solutions provider Magnet Group. The Mobiya solar LED lanterns have been designed by automation systems company Schneider Electric as an appropriate, safe and reliable... 

Solar-powered lantern brightens off-grid areas
SHINING ROADS The lanterns can be used by rural communities that do not have access to electricity

System advantages start with modular abilities

     22nd September 2017 Global electrical and digital building infrastructure specialist Legrand explains that the advantages of using modular systems is the integration between Legrand’s busbar trunking systems, cast resin transformers and XL³ cabinets. The modular systems include cast resin transformers, with low... 

System advantages start with modular abilities
EASY INTEGRATION Using Legrand systems allows for new technology to be easily integrated into older systems
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