Seeking Cape Town Power Heroes: City issues new tender to further help protect its customers from load-shedding impacts

03 Oct 2022 in Where We Govern

In another move to protect its customers from some of the impacts of load-shedding, the City has issued a tender that will see customers rewarded for reducing their power usage at a given time so that City-supplied customers can be protected from the impacts of load-shedding. These Cape Town Power Heroes will be key in the City’s load-shedding protection efforts.

How it works

City asks for reduction in usage to protect its customers  →  Third party aggregators call on the Power Heroes to switch off  →  Power Heroes help Team Cape Town
  • A reduction of usage of 60MW is targeted.
  • Third party Aggregators that have been appointed via tender, signs up Power Heroes on a voluntarybasis, comprising residential and small-scale commercial customers.
  • When usage needs to be cut, the Aggregators switch off agreed-to non-essential electrical equipment of the Power Heroes. It could be done remotely via installed smart devices.
  • Aggregators reward the Power Heroes. Aggregators determine the incentives and manage it.
  • The City rewards The Aggregators in terms of the tender conditions and agreements.

‘At the heart of this new intervention is the conviction that small actions can lead to big impacts. These Power Heroes will help the City to protect customers from the higher stages of Eskom’s load-shedding in particular. The Eskom situation is so precarious that a combination of interventions will be key over the next decade as work continues to reduce our reliance on Eskom. Smaller energy consumers can make a big difference to keep the lights on for longer in Cape Town and to ensure that the Cape Town economy is enhanced and protected as much as possible. The Power Heroes will really be going the extra mile for Team Cape Town, but as Eskom has shown that load-shedding is here for the foreseeable future, we need to do whatever we can in Cape Town to keep our city moving forward,’ said Cape Town Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis.

‘This new initiative is part of our demand response plan to mitigate load-shedding while we work on getting new sources on board to end load-shedding over time. The City already very successfully deploys the use of our Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme to protect City customers from up to two stages of load-shedding where possible. For example, between February and July 2022, the City protected its customers from 722 hours of Eskom load-shedding. In Cape Town, we have decided that we cannot sit around and wait for Eskom and the national government to do what needs to be done to end the load-shedding that is destroying our economy. I have written to the President explaining ten ways that the problem could be fixed with the help of municipalities such as Cape Town, but have not been met with any willingness in this regard. Whether or not national government takes any meaningful action, Cape Town will continue to press ahead with a variety of innovative and aggressive actions to achieve energy security for our residents. I believe that in the coming years, Cape Town will be a beacon of hope for South Africa on energy, with bright lights that shine (and stay shining) for all to see,’ said Mayor Hill-Lewis.

‘We are very grateful to all our customers for already taking part in the City’s energy efficiency efforts as every bit helps. With this tender, reducing demand will become a contractual requirement and bring more certainty to our energy space. Once the third party entities or aggregators that will manage the Power Heroes have been appointed in terms of the tender processes, the aggregators will be made known to the public. This is an exciting new initiative based on teamwork and collaboration. It is in addition to the range of programmes we have put in place to help protect Cape Town as far as possible. We are busy evaluating a tender we advertised earlier this year which will enable the City to procure 200MW from Independent Power Producers (IPPs); we’ve also just issued a tender for the engineering, procurement and construction of a solar power plant in Atlantis, with more planned across the metro.

‘Apart from IPP and own-build projects, we are working to create an enabling environment to bring more partners on board. If one looks at small-scale embedded generation for instance, the City has allocated R15 million in this financial year to pay for energy generated by small-scale embedded generators through the feed-in tariff of 75,51 c/kWh (excluding VAT) and the 25c/kWh incentive offered for small-scale embedded generators. The programme to end load-shedding over time and to reduce the impact of load-shedding is multi-faceted and much work is under way. We look forward to creating a new energy regime in Cape Town, built on partnerships, innovation and cleaner, more affordable technology. We can absolutely position Cape Town as a beacon of hope in South Africa for what is possible even amid great challenges,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.

The demand response programme forms part of a suite of interventions being put in place by the City to lessen Capetonians’ reliance on Eskom’s failing generation capacity. These include:

  • The ongoing procurement of power from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), which is currently in the technical bid evaluation phase;
  • The construction of the City’s own solar plant in Atlantis to begin next year, with more own-build projects planned across the City;
  • The introduction of cash payments for excess electricity produced by commercial customers with their own embedded generation facilities, for example solar panels on factory roofs.
  • Our wheeling project, which will allow large generators to sell to private consumers at other locations in the city through the use of the City’s distribution grid and lessen the demand for Eskom-produced (and eventually City-produced) power.

How to tender

  • Tender documents may be collected during working hours between 08:30 to15:00 until 1 November 2022.
  • The physical address for collection of tender documents is: Tender Distribution Office, 2nd Floor (Concourse Level), Civic Centre, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town.
  • The closing time for receipt of tenders is 10:00 on 1 November 2022.

Tender submission details are as follows:

Tender Box 127 at the Tender and Quotation Box Office, 2nd Floor (Concourse Level), Civic Centre, 12 Hertzog Boulevard, Cape Town