Pretoria – Eskom has synchronised the last unit at Ingula power station in KwaZulu-Natal, which will add 333 megawatts to the national grid.
“Ingula successfully synchronised its last unit, Unit 1, to the national grid at 6:57pm on 16 June 2016, National Youth Day, marking a key milestone towards the full commercial operation of the unit ahead of the scheduled deadline of January 2017,” said Eskom on Sunday.
Synchronisation is the process where after construction and commissioning, the unit is connected to the electricity grid for the first time. After synchronisation, further optimisation and testing takes place to ensure that the unit is safe and reliable. The unit is then declared commercial and handed over to the generation division for operation.
The power utility’s Group Chief Executive, Brian Molefe, dedicated Unit 1 to the memory of Hector Peterson and the class of 1976.
“In honour of the 40th commemoration of June 16 in South Africa’s history, Eskom dedicates Unit 1 to the memory of Hector Peterson and the class of ’76, who created a lasting legacy for the youth of the future.
“We are proud to have synchronised all four units at Ingula ahead of schedule. We look forward to Ingula rapidly nearing commercial completion and meeting the 2017 deadline, thereby enhancing the security of Eskom’s electricity supply to power South Africa into the future,” said Molefe.
Ingula Unit 1 with its 333 MW capacity now completes the synchronisation of all four of Ingula units, totalling 1 332 MW. Recently Eskom announced that its Ingula Unit 4 had been declared commercial on 10 June 2016. The rest of the three units – Units 3, 2 and 1 – are on track for commercial operation in 2017 and will support the electricity grid.
Once completed in the next five years, Eskom’s capacity expansion programme, which is the largest in the company’s history, will increase generation capacity by 1717 384MW, transmission lines by 9 756km and substation capacity by 42 470 megavolt amps.
“This will enable us to provide security of electricity supply to South African homes and businesses, powering economic expansion and extending electricity to millions of households that currently rely on other fuel sources for domestic cooking and heating,” said Eskom.