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South Africa: R 2 bn investment plan for Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality is planning to attract some R 2-billion in investment in a suite of renewable energy projects over the next five years, including wind energy. solar water heating, land fill gas and microhydro power.
In a briefing the municipality’s Infrastructure, Energy and Engineering Committee was informed that R 111-million in terms of the Division of Revenue Act for specific projects was expected to help to fast-track some of the energy efficient projects and that the Department of Energy was expected to free the funds shortly, allowing implementation to start soon.

The NMBM had called for proposals for renewable energy projects in 2005 and is now seen as a leader, not only in the municipal environment but in the South African business field as well. An analysis of the situation at that time had led to the conclusion that the low ESKOM tariff then was not sustainable and that international and local pressure would force South Africa to give renewable energy a fair opportunity. It had also been concluded that economic factors would make renewable energy the preferred energy source within a number of years.

Some of the plans under way include:

  • Phase 1 of a wind farm of 23 megawatts with a possible extension to 100 megawatts. The environmental impact assessment is under way and a record of decision expected by January. Once this had been finalised and arrangements puts in place to raise some R500-million, the wind farm could start production by next September.
  • Landfill-to-gas projects at Arlington and Koedoeskloof, for which EIAs were also under way. Generation could start next year producing between four and eight megawatts.
  • The Fish Water Flats biogas to energy project, set to produce between two and three megawatts, could take place by the end of the year.
  • The Combined Cycle Gas Turbine, a joint venture that had been initiated between the municipality, PetroSA and the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), would produce between 800 and 2 400 MW.
  • Energy- saving initiatives of 100000 high-pressure solar water heaters (roll-out to start in October) and low pressure solar water heaters (the installation of the first 1000 almost complete).
  • Demand side management through more than 50113 domestic heater ripple control systems (out of a possible 90000)
  • Other initiatives like power generation from wood waste and smart metering, for which the evaluation phase had been completed.
  • Wind power aspect traffic signal heads, for which the tender was being evaluated and installation, would start shortly and a micro-hydro project, for which a feasibility study was currently under way, was also on the cards.

Additional information:
News date: 08/09/2009

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