February 16, 2024

Boosting Wind Energy Grid Capacity in South Africa’s Cape Region

Windfarm

Eskom, South Africa’s main electricity supplier, has made a significant move to help wind power projects in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces by releasing an important document called the “curtailment addendum” as part of its Generation Connection Capacity Assessment for 2025.

This document, which is now available on Eskom’s website and has been approved by the country’s energy regulator, outlines a plan to make room on the electricity grid for more wind energy. By agreeing to occasionally reduce their energy output by up to 10%, wind farms can add 3,470 megawatts of power to the grid, with most of it in the Western Cape.

This strategy, known as “curtailment,” involves deliberately lowering the amount of electricity generated by wind farms when the grid can’t handle any more power, preventing overloads. This approach allows for more wind farms to be connected without causing issues in the electricity network.

Previously, Eskom had stated there was no more room for new wind projects in these regions, which was a problem for South Africa’s plans to increase renewable energy. However, this new plan changes that, making it possible to add more wind power, especially important given South Africa’s ongoing electricity shortages and efforts to reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

This development is particularly timely as South Africa is in the process of selecting projects for new renewable energy, including wind and solar power. The success of this new approach could influence future decisions on how renewable energy projects are chosen and connected to the grid.

In short, Eskom’s new policy is a crucial step towards using more renewable energy in South Africa, offering a practical solution to grid limitations and supporting the growth of wind energy in regions that are well-suited for it due to their high wind potential.