The past month has seen South African energy provider Eskom making great progress in moving towards a more sustainable approach to generating electrical power. The company secured two major loans to fund green energy projects, and announced plans to build two PV power plants in South Africa.
Eskom’s commitment to adopting sustainable energy is encouraging news for eco-friendly citizens already using solar geysers South Africa; it’s good to see an energy giant like Eskom leading by example and demonstrating social responsibility.
PV Power Plants
In September it was announced that power technology group ABB is set to construct two new photovoltaic plants for Eskom; photovoltaic power uses solar radiation to create electricity, effectively harnessing the power of renewable energy sources. The Eskom PV plants will be the first of their kind constructed in South Africa; each plant will occupy one hectare and have a station capacity of 620 kilowatts. One station will be located in the Free State, the other in Mpumalanga, and both will be situated adjacent to existing coal-fired Eskom power stations. The PV plants are due to be completed in November.
Green Energy Loans
There’s more good news for South Africans who support the use of sustainable energy; Eskom has been awarded two loans for a total amount of $365 million to fund the electricity company’s first large-scale wind power and solar energy projects. The loans were granted to Eskom during the 2011 World Bank/ IMF annual meetings held in Washington DC last month. $265 million was provided by the African Development Bank, while the Clean Technology Fund contributed a further $100 million. This will help Eskom to reduce the size of its carbon footprint and make renewable energy a reality for South Africa. Eskom’s first major undertaking will be the Sere 100 megawatt wind project, which will be based at Vredendal in the Western Cape. Eskom project leaders hope to begin construction on Sere early in 2012.
As Eskom demonstrates a commitment to green energy, let’s hope we’ll start to see more South African households installing solar water heating systems and water-saving shower attachments in the coming years.