The eThekwini municipality, which includes the city of Durban, has become the first in South Africa to seek proposals for private power generation. It has released a request for information for the supply of 400 MW in a bid a reduce reliance on Eskom and reduce the level of intermittent power outages faced by the municipality. It will also allow the city, which includes Africa’s largest port, to get more of its energy from renewable sources.
eThekwini said that it is seeking a “diverse mix of sustainable, dispatchable, and reliable power generation technologies”, indicating that while it is not stipulating which technology should be proposed, it does require the power to be available on demand.
The request follows the decision by the South African government last year to allow cities to buy power from providers other than Eskom.
Johannesburg and Cape Town have similar plans. In September, the City of Johannesburg will issue a request for information for the construction of a 150 MW solar power plant, 50 MW of rooftop solar panels, and the refurbishment of an idle 20 MW gas-fired power plant. It will also seek information regarding possible installation of 100 MW of battery storage.