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eSwatini calls for solar power bids to ease reliance on Eskom

The kingdom, formerly known as Swaziland, imports 80% of its electricity from South Africa.

The kingdom of eSwatini has called for bids to build 40 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity to reduce reliance on South Africa’s troubled state power firm Eskom.

The kingdom, formerly known as Swaziland, imports 80% of its electricity from South Africa, where the cash-strapped national supplier has implemented some of the worst rolling blackouts in years and has needed a state bailout to survive.

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Sikhumbuzo Nkambule, communications and consumer affairs manager at the eSwatini Energy Regulatory Authority, told Reuters the solar project would cut electricity imports and boost job creation, and could also stimulate foreign investment.

The bidding process will close on August 23. The government wants Swaziland to produce 100% of its own power by 2034.

The country plans to expand hydro-electric power generation from the Maguga Dam project, near the capital Mbabane.

Under the project, water from the dam would be used to generate an extra 20 MW, Khaya Mavuso, a representative for eSwatini Electricity Company, told the Times of Swaziland newspaper.

From June this year, the company would also gain access to an additional 10 MW from a solar plant to be located in southeast of eSwatini. 

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Who is going to pay for this???
Please don’t tell me the poor old SA taxpayer…this will just add insult to injury!

Why would a SA taxpayer be paying for a solar plant in Swaziland?

The private investor will pay for this, they are running a auction so someone will bid, win and build it.

We will indirectly pay I guess because that means less demand from Eskom but 40MW’s isn’t going to do much damage. I suspect even if they went fully independent it wouldn’t do that much damage.

Exactly – what a stupid, and uninformed, comment.

Swaziland pays a megaflex plus price for power from RSA, and has never missed a payment. We’re a good customer.

The fact that your good customers are leaving, should be your concern.

RSA is now the weak link in the regional chain.

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