Gauteng Premier David Makhura has outlined a range of initiatives to bolster power supply across South Africa's wealthiest province, including a plan to increase municipal coal-fired power generation by 1 200 MW and to use provincial government buildings to install up to 500 MW of rooftop solar capacity.
Six interventions to broaden the Gauteng City Region's energy mix were announced, including working with municipalities to add 1 200 MW of additional coal-fired generation by increasing capacity at the Rooiwal and Pretoria West power stations in Tshwane and the Kelvin power station, east of Johannesburg. The Kelvin power station was currently in the process of being sold by Investec and Nedbank, but it was not yet clear whether the new owner would be willing to raise output from the plant.
The other five initiatives included installing rooftop solar panels on the eight million square meters of rooftop space across provincial government buildings, which could be sufficient to generate between 300 MW and 500 MW of solar energy, implementing a programme to retrofit coal-fired boilers to natural gas, deploying tri-generation plants at the six provincial hospitals, harnessing biogas waste to produce energy, and installing energy efficient lighting across provincial government facilities.
Makhura said the province was also hoping to attract green-energy investors, revealing that it was working with the University of Johannesburg and the private sector to build a solar-panel manufacturing plant in the province, a ZAR7 billion project that is estimated to supply 500 MW of solar energy and create more than 15 000 direct and indirect jobs.