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Solar pioneer: City awards tender for its first solar plant

The tender has been awarded for the City of Cape Town’s Atlantis solar photovoltaic (PV) plant with construction planned to start in August this year and to be completed within 12 months, if all goes to plan. The City’s first grid-connected 7 MW solar plant is one of its interventions to end load-shedding over time. The idea is to potentially have a number of similar plants being rolled out across the metro in the years to come.

The City awarded the tender for engineering, procurement and construction of the plant to the Lesedi Technoserve Consortium.

‘This is a great milestone that we have reached. Again, Cape Town is leading the pack. The project is currently in the detailed design phase and the transmission of first power into the grid is expected towards the end of 2025.

‘The plant will be connected to the City’s electrical network at a nearby main substation and will feed the 7MW of generated electricity directly into the grid. It is the first utility-scale renewable energy project in Cape Town and will be owned and operated by the City. Apart from achieving our overarching vision of reducing the dependency on Eskom through our various programmes, and of enabling cleaner, more affordable sources of energy, we are also extremely focused on boosting our local economy to drive job creation. Our Atlantis project will thus have significant benefits for the economy and job creation, increasing green jobs across various skill levels. A full stakeholder engagement process will get under way and we thank our community, partners and stakeholders for all their support,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.

The Atlantis PV Project is one of the initiatives the City is undertaking to achieve the City’s Energy Strategy 2050 vision of ‘Energy security for a prosperous Cape Town’. It supports the strategy’s commitments to harness new energy supply, operate a future-fit utility and to optimise energy use.

The City currently purchases most of its electricity from Eskom, but with the high Eskom-price escalations expected in future, this may not be financially sustainable going forward. The City’s Atlantis Solar PV plant will be one of many interventions to help generate affordable, reliable electricity by ensuring that the cost of generation is lower than Eskom’s price.

This project will also contribute to achieving the City’s goal of net-zero carbon municipal buildings by 2030. The renewable energy generated from the Atlantis Solar PV project will offset electricity consumption in municipal buildings, thereby reducing the carbon emissions associated with the City’s operations.

View the Cape Town Energy Strategy here:

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