The City of Cape Town plans to build its first grid-connected solar plant, Atlantis solar photovoltaic plant, next year. Thus far the City has announced the opening of a tender for the engineering, procurement, and construction of the 7MW facility. The closing date of the tender is October 25.
The project’s budget could not yet be publicly announced according to Beverley van Reenen, a Mayco Member for Energy. This he explained was because the contractor’s tender was still out for a market response. The end game according to Reenen is to maintain a fair and open procurement process.
In 2024 the plant will start producing power.
Expectations for the project
Atlantis solar photovoltaic plant project is one of the city’s interventions to eventually do away with load shedding. It will be directly connected to the city’s electrical grid. Therefore, it will improve the region’s attractiveness as a green economic investment hub by bringing jobs to the area.
Moreover, the project has been lauded as a step toward the development of the Atlantis community. It could reportedly result in an increase in investment and the creation of jobs that could consequently boost the local and Cape Town economies. However, it is still unclear how many jobs will be created.
Remarks on the Atlantis solar photovoltaic plant project
According to Van Reenen, the site is located between the residential and industrial zones of Wesfleur, Atlantis. The Atlantis Special Economic Zone (Asez) in particular will promote development. This is because it provides chances for local SMME contributions to the Atlantis solar photovoltaic plant project’s construction.
Jarrod Lyons, director of business development at Asez, on the other hand, explained this as a very exciting project. This according to him is because it will benefit not only Atlantis’ immediate community but also the town’s transition to renewable energy.
According to Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, it is expected that the Atlantis solar plant will improve the city’s financial sustainability. Especially since the cost of producing the electricity would be less than the bulk procurement from Eskom.
Frank Spencer, the spokesman for the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia), said that the country is currently facing an electricity crisis, and the adoption of solar PV at all scales can be the solution that could be implemented the fastest and most affordable to help minimize the occurrence of load shedding.