Ingula synchronised to the national grid

March 11th, 2016, Published in Articles: EE Publishers, Articles: Energize

 

Lynne Brown_DoPE_large

Lynne Brown

Lynne Brown, the minister of public enterprises, says that Unit 3 of the Ingula storage pump scheme was synchronised to the national electricity grid on 6 March 2016.

Eskom’s Ingula storage pump scheme, which is being built on the escarpment of the Little Drakensberg in KwaZulu-Natal, is designed to provide 1332 MW to the national grid from four 333 MW reversible pump-turbine units which are housed in an underground powerhouse. Unit 3, which has just been synchronised, will add 333 MW soon.

The minister says the scheme, which consists of upper and lower dams connected by 4,6 km of waterway tunnels, is expected to be in full commercial operation in January 2017, because the construction of the lower waterways was completed and filled with water from the lower dam in December 2015.

Brown says the synchronisation of Ingula Unit 3 enables Eskom to continue its maintenance programme and reduces the pressure on the grid. Testing, prior to synchronisation, of Unit 4 has already started, while the major construction work on both Units 1 and 2 has been completed.

The delivery of the subsequent units and the rest of the build programme is important in enabling the country’s economy to grow because energy has been cited as a constraint to economic growth over the last year. Brown says that Eskom’s CEO, Brian Molefe, has assured her that as a result of the utility’s maintenance programme over the last six months, loadshedding is not anticipated over this year’s winter period.

Contact Colin Cruywagen, Department of Public Enterprises, Tel 082 377-9916, colin.cruywagen@dpe.gov.za

 

 

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