Cape Town announces a groundbreaking initiative to pay residential households for surplus solar power generated from their installations, a first for South Africa.
- The city plans to buy as much solar power as households and businesses can sell, according to Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
- In addition to residential households, Cape Town will allow businesses to sell energy to one another, potentially adding 350MW of decentralized electricity to the city’s grid.
- South Africa has been grappling with regular blackouts due to years of neglect and mismanagement by state-owned utility Eskom, resulting in as many as 10 hours without electricity per day during peak periods.
- Cape Town, governed by the opposition Democratic Alliance since 2006, has advanced plans to secure its own power supply, aiming to add up to 1GW of independently produced electricity over time, with the first 650MW to be added within five years.
- The city’s strategy includes incorporating private small-scale embedded generation and an independent producer program.
- Households can also opt to have their water-heating systems remotely switched off during peak times to help mitigate load shedding.