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City Of Cape Town To Fight Off Load Shedding Via $65 Million Solar Pv And Solar Battery Project

May 11, 2023

The Paardevlei Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic and Battery Energy Storage System project has been announced by the City of Cape Town, which will cost R1.2 billion (~$65 million) and offer protection from one full stage of load shedding.

Situated outside Somerset West on a 400-hectare site owned by the city, the project is set to produce 60 megawatts of renewable energy and will be supported by the C40 Cities Finance Facility.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis stated that Cape Town was the only city that received assistance for two projects after over 60 cities around the world had applied. The C40 Cities Finance Facility will provide technical aid for specialist studies, environmental impact assessments, engineering design, and financing the project.

The city will provide R447 million from its R2.3 billion budget for three years to end load shedding. The remaining R753 million will be raised through possible funding options such as public-private partnerships or Independent Power Producers (IPP) developing the project, and the city subsequently entering into a power-purchase agreement.

The City of Cape Town is committed to eliminating load shedding and has launched several initiatives recently, including a new tender to purchase 500MW of electricity from independent producers, encouraging households and businesses to contribute to the grid from their solar panels, and allocating R1 billion for the maintenance and operation of the Steenbras pumped storage hydropower plant. The Paardevlei project is seen as another crucial step towards achieving this goal.

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