Guest Contributor | Mar 16, 2018 | 0
Short-term interventions for security of power supply
Earlier this year, NamPower introduced the Short Term Critical Supply (STCS) Project with the objective of fulfilling its mandate of ensuring security of power supply to all Namibian consumers in support of socio-economic development in the country. The STCS project was initiated due to uncertainty about the reliability of power supply from neighbouring countries, a range of constraints on Namibia’s electricity supply options, and delays to planned power station projects.
The various initiatives under the STCS project to address the power supply deficit includes upgrading some of NamPower’s thermal power stations. These include Van Eck and Paratus Power Stations. NamPower is well advanced with work on these power stations to ensure that firm and reliable power supply can be ensured from these sources.
Further upgrading of the Ruacana Power Station involving replacement of the turbine runners which will both increase capacity and efficiency of the three older power station units.
Demand Side Management (DSM) programmes. NamPower is working on a plan which will see a sustained push to encourage consumers to save electricity through a range of programmes which are likely to include; more energy efficient lighting, incentives to utilise solar water heating, business energy audits to identify cost effective savings, and other similar programmes.
Many of Namibia’s major electricity users have the capability to reduce electricity demand at certain times and NamPower has begun discussions with a number of its large customers to explore the possibility of utilising this capability to manage the national electricity load effectively.
There is also renewed push to sign up agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) developing renewable power projects. NamPower is working closely with the Electricity Control Board (ECB) and the IPPs to overcome barriers which have made it difficult to agree on terms for a number of these projects.
There are on-going discussions with Namibia’s neighbouring countries to secure firm power supply agreements. NamPower has power supply contracts with a number of SADC countries and is working on extending and developing new agreements which can assist Namibia’s short term power supply needs.
Nampower is also working on leasing of emergency diesel generation which can be a back-up to NamPower’s alternative options. NamPower is currently analysing these options as an insurance for continuous power supply.
NamPower has also strengthened its electricity demand forecasting both in frequency and intensity so that expected demand and supply options are optimised to ensure that costs of the various supply options are minimised. At the same time NamPower has intensified work on its longer term domestic power supply options and regional power projects that will facilitate future power supply.