Ehurhuleni is winning the race to get off Eskom’s grid and load shedding

Ekurhuleni, the industrial hub of more than three million people to the east of Johannesburg, may have a head start in the race between South African cities to buy their own power to alleviate crippling outages imposed by the national utility.

A program to procure as much as 700 megawatts of electricity that began in 2016 is coming to fruition, with one funder saying a project to build a 41-megawatt solar plant at a cost of about R1 billion ($64 million) will begin by the end of this year.

“We have secured the equity, and once that closes we can finalize debt and basically start overnight,” said Justin Naidoo, the chief executive officer of African Growth Partners, which is working with five independent power producers. “We will be ready to start building the project before the end of the year.”

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