Integrating a wind farm into a transmission or distribution system

  South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme (REIPPP) has produced keen interest by Independent Power Producers in wind energy facilities (WEFs) [1]. Integrating a WEF into a transmission or distribution network not only requires good engineering practices but also conformance to the NERSA grid connection code. This paper considers some of the requirements […]

Bloodhound SSC: a supersonic engineering marvel

  A hybrid jet-and-rocket powered vehicle will fire up its 135 000 hp engines to break the sound barrier and the world record alike in a 1600 km/h race at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. The 14 m, 7 tonne Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) was designed and is being built by the Bloodhound Project, described as […]

Owning our energy future

  At a recent conference in Cape Town I was asked to address the load shedding of 6 March this year and the dire consequences for the South African economy and investor confidence. My response was that there are two ways we can view the South African power sector. On the one hand you could […]

Data as infrastructure: who should carry the costs?

  The value of geospatial and earth observations data to facilitate informed decisions is indisputable. Increasingly decision-makers have become aware that a single problem may require access to many datasets, while one dataset may have many applications. Having access to a variety of datasets that are current and accurate ensures superior solutions. Essential datasets that […]

Pumped storage scheme’s HV yard successfully energised

  Eskom successfully energised the high voltage (HV) yard and three power lines at the Ingula pumped storage scheme in June 2014. The project is currently under construction near Ladysmith on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The Ingula pumped-storage scheme, located within the Little Drakensberg mountain range, 23 km north-east of Van Reenen’s, […]

Remarks by minister of energy to the Parliamentary Portfiolio Committee on Energy

  On Tuesday, 1 July 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat Pettersson addressed the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Energy in Cape Town. Below is a transcript of her remarks. Chairperson, The President of the Republic addressed the nation on 17th June 2014 and I dare say that the directives and injunctions issued to […]

Toward universal energy access: Designing a new household electrification strategy for SA

  Over the past two decades, South Africa has achieved a significant level of electrification: 76% of all households now have access to largely grid-connected power, up from 34% in 1994. Despite successes, the country’s Department of Energy (DoE) and its delivery partners face several barriers to electrifying the remaining backlog of 3,4-million households. In […]

Department of Energy – more talk or a move to action?

  Speaking at a breakfast hosted by The New Age and SABC at the Sandton Convention Centre on 23 June 2014, the new minister of energy, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, indicated the priorities she has set herself in her new portfolio. Central to this appears to be an appreciation of the weaknesses in her department, and the […]

Eskom’s energy and revenue loss management

  Energy losses continue to be a challenge for utilities globally, both in developed and developing economies. As a result of increasing production costs in the value chain, utilities have to manage these losses at acceptable levels. In South Africa the problem is exacerbated by Eskom’s generation capacity challenges. Losses incurred in electrical power systems […]