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Hydro-Energy Part of Integrated Resource Plan in Cape Town, Says Western Cape Government

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The Western Cape Government has adopted hydro-energy as a significant strategy in its Integrated Resource Plan. It outlines utilizing hydro-energy both for electricity generation and long-term energy storage. The strategy is keenly pinning on the capabilities of the Steenbras Dam Hydro Pump, revealed in a weekly online update on the energy crisis.

Steenbras Dam, often termed as "Cape Town's secret weapon" against loadshedding, plays a dynamic role in this context. The dam is uniquely positioned atop a mountain, allowing water to flow down through hydro-electric turbines, which consequently generate electricity.

Geordin Hill-Lewis, Cape Town's Mayor, elaborates on this further. He describes the dam as a "massive battery." It has the potential to shield Cape Town from up to two stages of loadshedding. The mayor also shed light on plans in effect to enhance the dam's potential even more.

"We're currently exploring innovative ways to expand this lower dam. Some tremendous work is happening in this area now," said Hill-Lewis. "The limiting factor here, which also determines the size of your battery, is the size of the lower dam. We're working on strategies to overcome this barrier to ensure steady power supply for Cape Town," he further explained.

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