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Lethabo & Kendal

Dynamic Instruments have been instrumental in the installation of the PV System at two power stations, namely Lethabo in the Free State and Kendal in Mpumalanga, which has in turn created over 6000 man-hours in labour.


The Lethabo project, which was inaugurated by Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba at the end of 2011, will provide power during daylight hours for the plant's administration buildings and will also reduce the facility's auxiliary power consumption. The single-axis tracking solar PV system has been developed on a one-hectare greenfield site adjacent to the power station and has a peaking capacity of 575kW and a yearly production potential of 1.25-million kWh. The PV projects, form part of a pilot scheme aimed at reducing the utility's carbon footprint by about 2 845t/y. This is in line with the South African governments White Paper on Renewable Energy (2003), which has set a target of 10 000GWh of energy to be produced from renewable energy sources (mainly from biomass, wind, solar and small-scale hydro) by 2013.


Kendal Power Station first unit went online in 1988, and is the largest coal-fired power station in the world. Power generation is done by six 686MW units for a total installed capacity of 4,116MW. The Lethabo Power station opened in 1985 and consists of six 618MW units for a total installed capacity of 3,708MW. Most areas in South Africa average more than 2 500 hours of sunshine per year, and average solar-radiation levels range between 4.5 and 6.5kWh/m2 in one day. The Southern African region has sunshine all year round. The annual 24-hour global solar radiation average is about 220W/m2 for South Africa, compared with about 150W/m2 for parts of the USA, and about 100W/m2 for Europe. This makes South Africa's local resource one of the highest in the world. Technical information

Grootvlei Power Station - Heidelberg

Project Background


Grootvlei Power station is one of Eskom's three coal-fired, mothballed power stations to be returned to service. The station was built in the late 1960's and was shut down in 1990 and then mothballed. Grootvlei has six boiler-and-turbine sets rated at 200MW each. Refurbishment will be at a cost of R5-billion, that's just R4-million per megawatt - far cheaper than building a new capacity. The first Unit was commissioned in November 2008. The last Unit was scheduled to be in commercial operation by end of 2010. From a technical perspective, this project is far from easy. The coal mines that fed the plant by conveyor are worked out and flooded. To use local coal would mean digging and developing new mines from scratch - a long and costly process. It's more effective to bring in coal by road from Witbank or Vereeniging, at least until a better option is found.

The boilers are old and environmentally inefficient - they produce comparatively more emissions than newer machines. So the fuel burners are being replaced with 'low-Nox' burners, specially designed to reduce the nitrous oxide in the smokestack plume.. Technical information

Matla Power Station - Mpumulanga

Project Background


Matla Power Station was the first of the giant 3 600MW coal-fired power stations to be commissioned during the 1980's. Construction started late in 1974 and by July 1983 the station was fully operational. The station is 28 years old this year. Matla is one of a few power stations in the world with a concrete boiler house superstructure, giving it an outward appearance very different from other power stations in South Africa. The use of concrete reduced the construction lead time and capital costs at a time when there was a worldwide shortage of steel..Technical information

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