Durban – State energy supplier Eskom has announced a partnership with the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) based at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) to develop the Komati Training Centre.
An agreement between the parties was signed on Friday, Eskom said.
Eskom said the project will contribute to a “just” transition for the community as the Komati power station in Mpumalanga is decommissioned.
It said the facility will help them upskill workers and community members. Eskom said Komati will be re-powered with 150MW of solar, 70MW of wind and 150MW of batteries.
“Eskom is pleased to be partnering with the CPUT, SARETEC and GEAPP on this ground-breaking initiative. The training facility complements Eskom’s JET plans to RE-ignite – in other words – not only re-power and re-purpose plant – but to re-train, re-skill and re-empower people to take advantage of the transition that is upon us.
“Mpumalanga is endowed with the best of resources for the just energy transition – wind, solar, skilled people, and available grid capacity and therefore has the potential to once again become the thriving energy hub of the country,” the ailing power utility said.
The project aimed at establishing this training facility will be funded by GEAPP.
When completed, the facility will be managed by Eskom’s Academy of Learning (EAL).
Executive Director of GEAPP, Joseph Nganga, said: “South Africa can be a lighthouse for emerging markets, demonstrating the way to achieve a truly just job creating energy transition.
“This facility can inform reskilling programmes at other power stations and catalyse investment in South Africa’s energy transition.”
CPUT Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chris Nhlapo assured the two parties that the project was in the perfect place, at SARETEC.
“We will succeed because this model must be replicated across South Africa. The pursuit of an energy mix that is cleaner and greener is the only way we will address electricity challenges in this country.
“We are also grateful to be part of a solution that provides the Komati community with economic opportunities into the future. By assisting Eskom to set up and accredit its own training facility, SARETEC is fulfilling its mandate of supporting the socio-economic needs of the country, continent, and world,” Nhlapo said.