Eskom eyes African power prospects

Eskom has its eyes on ensuring sub-Saharan Africa is connected to a power grid, an official said on Tuesday.

“We hope to have an integrated southern electrical grid running by 2020, to 260 million people in the region,” Eskom group transmission executive Mongezi Ntsokolo told delegates at the African Utility Week in Cape Town.

“No country or area should be without power because of local energy shortages.”

He said countries in the southern power pool were building high-voltage transmission links, which would ensure electricity was transferred quickly and effectively.

Ntsokolo was speaking in the place of acting Eskom CEO Collin Matjila, who had been billed to open the conference. He spoke briefly on the progress being made with renewable energy locally.

To date, Eskom had erected seven of the planned 46 turbines at its wind farm in the Western Cape and was developing a concentrated solar farm in the Northern Cape. It would provide a combined average of 200MW to the grid.

Ntsokolo said Eskom supported government’s renewable energy programme and had started buying from private power producers ahead of schedule.

“The more of this power we add to this regional grid, the greener our energy mix will become.”

The conference would end with site visits on Thursday, including the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town.

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Eskom eyes African power prospects