With the aim of reducing load shedding, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality recently announced plans to set up the Parsons Power Park in South Africa.
The development of the first phase (25 MW) is scheduled to start in November of this year. The R2.7 billion solar power plant will add 150 MW to the local grid. According to the municipality, the first phase will take up to 10 months to complete. The park’s 125 MW future expansion will proceed in the same way.
With 50% of the power used in Nelson Mandela Bay going to businesses, it is a hub for the industry. The area has to move away from Eskom for this reason and to guarantee job security. This is according to executive mayor Retief Odendaal. He stressed that Eskom is not their only option.
The project, according to the mayor in a statement to ENCA, would provide a reliable supply of power for residents. The locals have been subject to severe water restrictions for eight years. According to Odendaal, this project wouldn’t likely be the only one for private energy generation.
The city is keen on purchasing about 100 MW from independent power producers, he claimed, and there has been a lot of interest in other initiatives. The area around Gqeberha, formerly known as Port Elizabeth, is recognized for its wind as well as its clear skies, making it the ideal site for solar or wind turbines.
Parsons Power Park project funding
With 16 companies participating as primary funders or sponsors, Parsons Power Park is a joint venture. Companies involved include Natura Energy, RAW Renewables, ENS Africa, as well as SRK consultancy.
According to Natura Energy, Parsons Power Park is targeted at the commercial as well as industrial markets, finding its rationale in the campaign currently witnessed to establish embedded generation in South Africa’s municipalities in good standing.
The Parsons Power Park can deliver power across the entire Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Region. This is according to the company. The objective of the Raw Renewables and Natura Energy-built solar photovoltaic power plant is to generate energy at a price that is competitive for sale to significant power consumers linked to the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal grid.
The Eastern Cape joins other provinces across the country. This is with an aim of shifting away from the troubled power utility Eskom. In order to achieve energy independence, the Western Cape has asked its provincial treasury for R1.1 billion.
The Western Cape government also authorized the emergency release of almost R89 million in January of this year to purchase backup generators.