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Recent events indicate that Eskom should concentrate on generating power and leave new build projects to professional project managers. The Medupi power station is two years late for a number of reasons, a major contributor being the boiler protection software which is part of the plant’s control and instrumentation system, and which keeps failing Eskom’s acceptance tests, but which should have been handed over to the utility in December 2012… (more)

EE Publishers has received substantial information that Eskom is currently in the process of terminating the Alstom boiler protection contract at Medupi power station. The boiler protection software in a coal-fired power station is a critical safely item subject to stringent regulatory controls. In the light of Eskom’s negative experience with Alstom, the utility intends to appoint an alternative contractor (likely to be Siemens) to complete the job. A change in software supplier by Eskom at this late stage poses further serious risks to the delivery of first power from Medupi, currently scheduled for the second half of 2014… (more)

A disaster can be defined as a progressive or sudden, widespread or localised, natural or human-caused occurrence which causes or threatens to cause death, injury or disease, damage to property, infrastructure or the environment, or disruption of the life of a
community and is of a magnitude that exceeds the ability of those affected by the disaster to cope with its effects using only their own
resources… (more)

Embedded generation (EG) could provide many benefits in terms of reduction of system technical losses and increased load carrying capacity. EG options are being focused on by users of electricity in South Africa in order to improve energy savings and increase revenues derived from the sale of electricity… (more)

Eskom, acting as the electricity agent of the government, through the Department of Energy (DoE) and Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), has been mandated to execute the on-going government-funded electrification programme to meet the extended goals of the Universal Access Plan… (more)

Regulations have and still play a major role in the successful penetration of renewable energies in the power grid. In South Africa, the White Paper on Renewable Energy of 2003 has set a target of 10 000 GWh of energy to be produced from renewable energy sources (mainly from biomass, wind, solar and small-scale hydro) by 2013. The incorporation of these renewable technologies, especially wind and solar, can only happen through unlimited access to the power grid… (more)

Electricity utilities in Africa are faced with numerous environmental and safety challenges. Some of these include public pressure (consumer pressure, lobbying, voter preferences), new standards and legislation (Constitution, ISO14001), new business opportunities (attracting and retaining customers, reducing, re-using and recycling materials), reduction of risk (financial, legal, ecological and reputational) and ethical or moral considerations, given the current safety concerns across industries and the climate change and environmental crisis… (more)

As a physicist by training, I tend to think in numbers. As the chief executive of Eskom, I focus on many numbers, but one number in particular – 4,3-million – has great meaning to me because that’s how many households Eskom has brought electricity access to since 1990. These new connections have brought social development and economic opportunities to many. South Africa’s approach has become a model for other countries. Yet it is precisely the scope of this success that has created new and complex challenges for our country, putting serious strain on our existing infrastructure. That is why it is more important than ever that the utility not only continues its short-term activities, but doubles its efforts to complete the longer-term new build programme, while beginning a process of changing the way this country consumes its resources… (more)

Eskom has been accused by Earthlife Africa of failing to comply with the terms laid down by the World Bank when it loaned the utility money to construct the Medupi power station. The accusation centres around Eskom’s delay in installing flue gas desulfurisation (FGD) equipment at the Medupi power station. The organisation claims that because the utility company has applied for exemption from South African air quality regulations, Medupi will spew dangerous particulates into the atmosphere… (more)

Theft of copper conductors has become a major problem in the electricity distribution industry. In addition to theft of feed conductors, theft of earthing conductors at substations and other installations places the safety of the whole network at risk… (more)

The virtual power station (VPS) concept combines a number of separate distributed resources to behave as a single larger resource, to make additional generation capacity available on the grid. The resources may be generation plant or curtailable loads. Eskom has recently added its own generation to the portfolio of its demand management program… (more)

Letters to the editor this month focus on Eskom and the cost of coal price controls, a response to an article by Chris Yelland, and on the allure of old radio receivers… (more)

 

The workshop on developing standards for LEDs held during last year’s Industrial and Commercial Use of Energy (ICUE) Conference was found not to have had the desired effect on the lighting industry yet; transformation in the industry, including the drafting of standards, is taking longer than anticipated. We used a return visit by Lighting Science technical executive Fred Maxik to stimulate once again the drafting of standards regulating LED products entering the country… (more)

South African middle and high income homes use 50 mm diameter reflector lamps for general lighting, but these weren’t designed for this purpose… (more)

For about two to three years now, Eskom has been lobbying government to declare coal a strategic resource, introduce mechanisms to control the price of coal to the utility, and limit the export of coal. This is being done, apparently, in efforts to try and secure the supply of coal for power generation at prices acceptable to the utility. The lobbying seems to have borne fruit. In terms of proposed amendments to the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, the minister of mineral resources may, by decree in the Government Gazette from time-to-time, declare selected minerals to be strategic, and limit the export of the declared strategic minerals… (more)

I refer to your article that appeared in the July edition of Energize concerning the misleading of the (uninformed) public by Eskom on the cost of keeping the lights on. I fully endorse everything the article’s author said but I would have gone a bit further… (more)

Power Alert is a residential load management tool that is unique to South Africa. It is extremely successful in creating measurable demand reductions, and has been awarded various national and international awards… (more)

During a high-profile site visit on 11 April 2013, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba advised Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi executives, in the presence of the assembled media, that first power from Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any such delays occurred… (more)

from the Independent Power Producers Association, while addressing the media at the Free Market Foundation’s offices recently, said that Eskom are misleading the public when the say that they are keeping the lights on. Many people tend to believe that as long as the lights are still on that everything’s okay with the electricity supply… (more)

On 11 April 2013, public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba told Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi that first power from the Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any delays did occur. The Eskom CEO and his executive team assured the minister that the situation had been fully analysed, that the problem areas had been identified and were being dealt with, and that the due date would indeed be met… (more)

During a high-profile site visit on 11 April 2013, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba advised Eskom, Alstom and Hitachi executives, in the presence of the assembled media, that first power from Medupi power station by no later than December 2013 was absolutely critical, that no further delays would be tolerated, and that “heads would roll” if any such delays occurred. But only three months later, at a media briefing on 8 July 2013, Eskom confirmed what was already generally known, namely that the due date of end December 2013 was increasingly unlikely and unrealistic… (more)

Since the inception of the Eskom solar water heater (SWH) rebate programme in 2008, there has been a phenomenal growth in supply of SWHs to the market. Between 2006 and 2010, the number of SWH suppliers in the industry increased from 45 to 700. There are currently approximately 300 active suppliers within the industry. A recent study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, however, indicates that the uptake of the product by end-users has not yet been as successful as expected… (more)

This month’s letters cover some of Eskom’s history and a reader’s response to the BHP Billiton dispute… (more)

Differences in interpretation between Eskom and BHP Billiton in respect of the termination date of the electricity supply agreement for the Hillside Potline 1 and 2 aluminium smelters in Richards Bay, South Africa, could negatively impact Eskom’s balance sheet and income statement to the tune of billions of rands. The electricity prices and contract period for Hillside Potlines 1 and 2 are defined in the main pricing agreement [1] and contract between Alusaf (subsequently Billiton, now BHP Billiton South Africa) and Eskom, signed in 1992… (more)

Sir, I recall that sunny day in early March 1923 when it was announced in the government gazette that an Electricity Supply Commission (Escom) had been established under the chairmanship of Dr. Hendrik van der Bijl. £500 was borrowed from the treasury (which was rapidly repaid), and Escom set up an office in Johannesburg and set to work ensuring a cheap and abundant supply of electricity wherever it was needed in South Africa. That was ninety years ago. Since then, it has been a wild roller-coaster ride, times when both the “cheap” and “abundant” were either in oversupply or desperately short. Escom was an upstart, a minor also-ran in the industry, and there was plenty of competition… (more)

In order to understand the application by Eskom to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for a review of the special electricity pricing agreements between Eskom and BHP Billiton for Hillside Potlines 1, 2 and 3, and the powers, authority and duties of the Regulator in such matters, it is necessary to look at the relevant South African legislation covering the regulation of electricity and its pricing… (more)

The third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for the five-year period commencing 1 April 2013 has further revealed a picture of the national electricity utility, Eskom, in distress. On the basis of the Treasury’s instruction that there would be no further government guarantees, subordinated loans or equity from the sole shareholder (government), Eskom has been between a rock and a hard place… (more)

ARB Electrical Wholesalers is set to play a major role in Eskom’s Transmission Development Plan (TDP) which seeks to meet the long-term requirements of electricity consumers in South Africa… (more)

The third multi-year price determination (MYPD3) by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) for the 5-year period commencing 1 April 2013 has further revealed a picture of the national electricity utility, Eskom, in distress… (more)

This paper describes the design principles and physical implementation of an improved transient earth fault clearing method on medium voltage (MV) networks (1 kV – 44 kV). Test results and operating performance statistics are provided… (more)

Already we are seeing the cost of the renewables added to Eskom’s price for electricity,the cost is high. What is the rationale for chasing after renewables in this way? It is clearly not sustainable – nothing which needs a subsidy is sustainable… (more)

The underlying foundation of the country’s economy is that electricity has been cheap, readily available and abundant. Our economy and its industrial base is a power-intensive one, and South Africa has one of the highest power consumption to unit of GDP ratios anywhere… (more)

The use of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) navigation devices has become widespread these days. Most now have the ability to create and upload their own points of interest (commonly known as custom points of interest). These GNSS devices can cost in the region of R1000 to R3000 for normal in-car type devices while handheld devices can be in the range of R1500 to R6000… (more)

Developing an understanding of the financial and economic implications of network infrastructure service levels requirements and the potential trade-offs between service levels, cost and the impact on the economy… (more)

The use of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) navigation devices has become widespread these days. Most now have the ability to create and upload their own points of interest (commonly known as custom points of interest). These GNSS devices can cost in the region of R1000 to R3000 for normal in-car type devices while hand held devices can be in the range of R1500 to R6000. Free software to create and upload these custom POIs is easily available… (more)

Electricity production constitutes a key factor in the development of any nation. Use of coal, oil or gas for electricity production has been identified as contributor to environmental pollution and climate change. Hence, the need to produce electricity from renewable energy sources that impact less negatively on the environment… (more)

Eskom’s rebate programmes are designed to speed up project approval processes and to streamline project implementation and completion with the assistance of energy advisors and ESCos. They offer funding for energy efficiency solutions in the industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors… (more)

This paper reports on a desktop study for Eskom to assess the availability of spatial data for electricity planning from renewable energy sources for the African sub-Saharan region, excluding South Africa… (more)

Eskom has been placing much effort into driving the adoption of energy efficient lighting technologies in homes and businesses. While success has been achieved with these programmes, it remains important that the end-user be aware of the many factors to consider… (more)

Eskom, Metrorail, Telkom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have collectively lost R3,12-billion to copper theft between April 2006 and December last year. This is according to transport minister Ben Martins in reply to a series of Democratic Party parliamentary questions by Pieter van Dalen MP… (more)

There are four basic types of high voltage current transformers. The hair pin tank type is typically made in South Africa for voltages up to and including 132 kV and is oil filled. This report looks at the 11 kV to 132 kV hair pin tank type made in South Africa… (more)

While government departments and Eskom are forging ahead with plans and programmes to ensure that all is in place to facilitate meeting the planned 9600 MW of nuclear power generation included in the IRP 2030, industry, who will have to provide the plant, are waiting in the wings, hamstrung by a lack of commitment to plans. Government has the National Nuclear Electricity Executive Co-ordinating committee (NNEECC or NEC2), and the Nuclear Energy Technical Committee, who advises the above, and both are busy with self-assessment exercise to establish the readiness of the country to proceed with the plan… (more)

Eskom has managed to pull us through the winter peak without a single unplanned blackout. Well done. But we are still running close to the edge, and failure of any energy sources could put us in the pit. This was achieved at a cost of shutdowns in industry, power buy-backs etc., as well as as well documented impact on economic growth in the country. So we are still in crisis mode, and unless action is taken soon we will remain there for along time to come… (more)

Small-scale renewable energy solutions, produced from zero or low carbon source technologies and derived from naturally regenerative or practically inexhaustible resources, are the latest addition to the list of energy efficient technologies funded through Eskom’s Standard Offer Programme… (more)

This paper describes the process followed for the development of governor models for four Eskom coal fired power stations.  A seven step process was developed to ensure models were developed in the quickest, safest and most accurate manner.  This paper describes the process steps… (more)

A small team consisting of Eskom staff and independent energy consultants Integrated Energy Solutions, have been working together for the last two years developing novel methodologies that integrate demand side management with distribution network investment to enhance utility efficiencies… (more)

From 1953 through to 1957, he completed his standard 6, his junior certificate and his matric, at St Patrick’s school (Bloemfontein), St Peter’s College (Rossettenville) and Kroonstad High School respectively… (more)

A review of published standards for light emitting diode (LED) technology in the South African National Standards (SANS), International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) and other international standards, as well as a report on the progress of some of these institutions’ work groups… (more)

Eskom’s Standard Offer Programme now provides funding for small-scale renewable energy technologies. These are biomass waste; wind energy; geothermal; solar; thermal gradient and ground source heat. Solar thermal liquid heat is excluded from the programme but municipal solid waste will be considered a source… (more)

Eskom IDM is continually extending its portfolio of funding mechanisms and the range of efficiency technologies that is supported to make energy efficient products more readily available to South Africans… (more)

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