Eskom partners with Netherlands Embassy to repurpose Grootvlei Power Station

The site is expected to be a blueprint for other locations set to transition.
It's hoped that the initiative can serve as a blueprint for other sites that will be repurposed. Image: Dean Hutton/Bloomberg

Power utility Eskom signed a letter of intent with the Netherlands Embassy on Wednesday, to collaborate on two Just Energy Transition initiatives for its Grootvlei Power Station, in Mpumalanga.

The collaboration, supported by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, includes a pre-feasibility study for a climate-conscious and agricultural development on the site and a sustainable approach to repurpose it.

Eskom said the aim of the study is to determine the most applicable climate-smart, labour-intensive farming and agricultural-related repurposing opportunities for the Grootvlei Power Station.

This comes after the Netherlands Embassy embarked on grant-funded agricultural-related studies at the Grootvlei station, in 2021. “The Grootvlei Power Station was selected due to the site repurposing potential, strategic location [proximity to the industrial hub in Gauteng], and accessibility [along the N3 highway],” it adds in a statement issued on Thursday.

“By supporting a participative, multi-stakeholder process to develop transition pathways and creating new, green employment opportunities, the Just Energy Transition at Grootvlei can become an inspiration, and blueprint for other sites that will also transition,” said Eskom.

The move is anticipated to facilitate a positive social, economic and environmental impact on the surrounding communities and further empower local residents to be involved in new site operations.

“These repurposing opportunities will be employed in addition to the renewable energy repowering options that are currently being assessed for the site.”

Eskom says the Just Energy Transition in South Africa should accelerate a green and inclusive economy and leave no one behind.

“Eskom is therefore committed to ensuring that the socio-economic and environmental benefits of transitioning are realised, that employees and communities are involved in finding the solutions, and that the transition does not exacerbate the already high unemployment rate in our country, but results in a net increase in sustainable jobs,” it adds.

The power utility noted that the collaboration has thus far resulted in a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) study of the Grootvlei area, a repurposing options assessment, a preliminary situational analysis of the property by horticulture experts, and soil and water quality analyses by specialists.

Grootvlei isn’t the only power station to be repurposed.

Detailing his energy plan on 25 July, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that it would include the repurposing of old power stations, with the Komati, Majuba and Lethabo power stations to be among the first to be converted to solar power and battery storage.

Read: At last: CR throws the kitchen sink at load shedding

Nondumiso Lehutso is a Moneyweb intern.

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NUM will LOVE this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is just a social grant by another name. It is a fancy unemployment benefit for redundant Eskom employees. Another bottomless pit, in other words. Luckily for us, the Netherlands, which has always supported the ANC and enabled the corruption and incompetence, will be putting their money where their mouths are.

The ANC holds the entire nation at ransom by the ANC, while they are trying to manufacture a “just transition” for Cosatu members. What about the huge injustice that has been done to all unemployed individuals? This is a vote-buying exercise for Tripartite Members, by Tripartite Members.

When the rest of us become redundant, we simply lose our jobs. There are no just transitions for us. The just transitions are only for the politically-connected elite.

Sorry deadwrong.
Yeah, the Netherlands might have been vocal about the apartheids system 35 years back, but also were among countries like the UK, Germany and the US some 3, 4 years back, that signed a very strong letter warning SA about the crippling levels of corruption.
Just like the comments here, also the Eskom Tweet about this only provokes negative reactions, relating this to events of 1652.
As this project might also be mired in corruption, and might not really benefit the ones that it is meant for, the Netherlands should cancel it ASAP.
Dutch tourists should also be strongly warned against ever visiting this hostile nation.
Full of crime, potholed roads and shortsighted, selfish fools.
All NL companies should withdraw investments.
And NL should never allow SA visitors or economic migrants to their shores anymore.
NL hardly needs SA wine or citrus, so they can boycot that too.

Are these the same Dutch that colonised the Western Cape? The chagrin of it … sigh.

Well done the Netherlands. Something positive to read for a change.

End of comments.

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