According to the municipality’s annual report for 2020/21, it awarded 46 tenders to independent power producers (IPPs) to generate additional renewable energy for the city.
“The City is finalising the implementation of the City programme to purchase electricity from the appointed power producers,” it said.
Ekurhuleni’s launched its project to decrease its reliance on Eskom in 2017, and as per a SABC News report, the municipality sent out a tender to IPPs in the same year.
Ekurhuleni released a statement in July 2020 explaining that renewable energy sources would be a cost-effective solution for the city, adding that solar power is the best-suited technology for its needs.
“Energy supply management is likely to be one of the most complex problems for the city for now and in the immediate future, particularly being the industrial hub of the country,” it said.
“The department has identified Solar PV as the best available technology to invest in, in terms of renewable energy to augment the current status of increasing energy demand,” said Makhosazana Mabaso, a member of the Mayoral Committee for Environment Resources Management.
The municipality said it had already installed solar panels on most city building rooftops, which had also been connected to the national grid to ease pressure on the existing energy supply.
According to Ekurhuleni, a diversified energy supply will help reduce costs, the frequency of power cuts and theft, and the city’s infrastructure maintenance requirements.
Adding renewable energy to its power supply will also help Ekurhuleni reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push it further towards South Africa’s Climate Change Strategy goals.
The Climate Change Strategy was approved in August 2020 and aims to reduce South Africa’s annual greenhouse gas emissions to 398-440 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030.
This would represent a reduction of around 28%.
“This Strategy defines the country’s vulnerabilities, plans to reduce those vulnerabilities and leverage opportunities, outlines the required resources for such action, whilst demonstrating progress on climate change adaptation,” South Africa’s Minister of Environment, Forestry, and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said.