Ramokgopa looking forward to big renewable energy projects

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Electricity Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa says he’s looking forward to big renewable energy projects that will see South Africa ditch its power problems. Ramokgopa was visiting the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Thermal Plant in Postmansburg in the Northern Cape.

The plant will power over 210 000 households and has created 3 500 jobs. It’s expected to come online early next year after the Covid-19 pandemic briefly shut down operations.

The Northern Cape is having a wide open space and blessed with an abundance of sun and wind. It is no coincidence that it’s home to around 70% of South Africa’s renewable energy project. But the province’s grid capacity is putting a hamper on further projects in the province. Eskom says the grid will not allow for big new projects.

“Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Western Cape will have to be upgraded because they are best suited for renewables,” Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Electricity Minister elaborates.

South Africans have been spared of higher stages of load shedding despite colder weather. The minister says capacity has improved.

“Capacity has improved to 60% availability. Even in the colder weather the country should be spared higher stages of load shedding,” Ramokgopa adds.

On the proposed Karpowership deal, Ramokgopa is adamant that the length of the deal can’t prejudice the country. He says that five year negotiations are under way.

Redstone will produce 100 megawatts of clean energy. The next bid window for renewables is currently underway. Those projects are expected to generate around 1 000 megawatts, once completed.

Electricity Minister to visit Redstone Concentrated Solar Power Plant: