Eskom changing its microgrid targets

Daniel Puchert

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Eskom's new microgrid plan

Power utility Eskom rolled out only a fifth of the microgrids it planned to launch by the end of its last financial year, but it is substantially increasing the capacity of some of the new systems.

Microgrids are small-scale containerised systems with generation and distribution equipment that can be deployed in unelectrified communities at a fraction of the cost of powering them via the national grid.
 
Even if the 39 households using the microgrid in Swartkopdam used a modest 200kWh of electricity at a discounted average tariff of R2 per kWh, they would pay Eskom about R15,600 per month or R187,200 per year.
I hope this is the case...
 
If the payback is so good, communities will just set these microgrids up themselves, if government doesn't enact legislation to make that illegal (if it isn't already). I'm definitely for microgrids - hopefully less prone to massive budget over-runs than megaproject coal power stations. But also, unfortunately, much easier to be expropriated without compensation by thieves. At least it's clean-ish energy.
 
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