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Riversdale pilot project to move Western Cape closer to loadshedding-free future


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Riversdale pilot project to move Western Cape closer to loadshedding-free future

Riversdale pilot project to move Western Cape closer to loadshedding-free future
Photo by Reuters

1st December 2023


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The DA in the Western Cape welcomes today’s announcement of a state-of-the-art Solar PV project in Riversdale, which will generate 15 million kilowatt hours every year. A joint project between the Department of Local Government and Hessequa Municipality, this installation will serve as a vital proof-of-concept step for larger projects in the Province.

Riversdale is home to more than 22 000 residents, who frequently suffer intense loadshedding which causes significant losses to economic output. The South African Reserve Bank estimates that up to R899 million is lost every day from loadshedding, and Riversdale is one of thousands of communities across South Africa that give life to this chilling statistic.


However, this cross-governmental initiative will serve to alleviate loadshedding for the area’s 6 851 households, and will provide seamless power to critical infrastructure. The new project will utilise a solar photovoltaic array to harness the area’s strong solar radiation levels. The array will have a capacity of approximately 10MWp, and will be capable of storing 10 Megawatt-hours of energy on lithium-ion batteries. During non-peak periods, excess energy will be able to be sold back into the grid.

While the project will undoubtedly renew and reinvigorate the local economy in Hessequa, its implications are far greater than this. Larger solar installations are planned for several other areas in the Western Cape, with the goal of eventually eradicating loadshedding from the province altogether. The Riversdale project thus presents a vital opportunity to test these technologies in full, with a view to larger projects in time.


DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Energy Christopher Fry says: “Our leaders continue to distinguish themselves from one another by their response to the energy crisis. While national government has responded to the issue of loadshedding with a deafening silence and ineffective solutions, the Western Cape Government has once again stepped up to make a difference. This project will not only provide a vital safeguard against power cuts for residents of Riversdale, but will also pave the way for the larger projects which will eventually make our province loadshedding free.”


Issued by Christopher Fry, MPP - DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Energy


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