Plans to minimise load-shedding in Joburg will only be operational by December: City Power CEO

25 May 2023 - 13:13
By Phathu Luvhengo
City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava says the city's efforts to reduce load-shedding hours are expected to be operational by the end of the year. File photo.
Image: Fani Mahuntsi/Gallo Images City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava says the city's efforts to reduce load-shedding hours are expected to be operational by the end of the year. File photo.

City Power’s plans to reduce stages of load-shedding in Johannesburg are only likely to be operational by the end of the year.

Financing the rollout of smart meters and acquiring communications equipment is a major reason for the delay, which will see the entity unable to implement its plans during winter when energy usage increases, placing more pressure on the grid.

City Power CEO Tshifularo Mashava said the R400m project would be fully functional before the end of December. 

The entity has only been able to allocate a small portion of the budgeted funds to the project this financial year, she told TimesLIVE.

The remaining funds would be allocated when the council passes the budget for the next financial year, which starts in July.

City Power has engaged the metro and believes fresh funding will be approved by the end of May.

It hopes to roll out about 115,000 smart meters to customers in the first phase of the project, in addition to the between 20,000 and 30,000 already installed.  

“We are going to ramp up our installations. There are some meters that need to be replaced and we are doing that in conjunction with our meter transaction ID rollout. 

“We have already started but it is a six-month process we are looking at on our side,” she said.  

The utility will also revamp its ripple relay system. This is installed in geysers to regulate the temperature and allows City Power to remotely switch the electricity supply to geysers on and off. If enough of these are installed, it hopes to save about 80MW. 

The city has already started solar high-mast public lighting systems to convert street lights to solar power. 

“We intend to roll this out so we are able to deal with crime, so there is no darkness, and the streets can remain lit during load-shedding.”

City Power is also looking into acquiring additional energy through solar and gas.

Mashava said it wants to have its own rooftop PV-powered power stations generating energy from panels on government buildings. The utility will start solar installations in June.

TimesLIVE

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