On the heels of Eskom announcing its plans for load shedding to take place on most days of the months to come, South African citizens have been desperately searching for alternative electricity sources. Although lights out and no media distraction is a great way to bring the family together by candle light, when it becomes an everyday occurrence it feels more like we’re moving back to the stone age. Load shedding for businesses also has detrimental effects and has already had a negative impact on the country’s economy as a whole.
While we wait for Eskom to resolve this problem with projects like the Medupi, Kusile and Ingula power stations, the everyday consumer is forced to turn to quick and sometimes costly solutions such as back-up generators, Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems and even Solar Panels.
As a more comprehensive alternative solution, Moneyweb reader Simon Norton, a Cape Town corrosion consultant brought the possibility of Powerships to their attention. Powerships being special purpose marine ship shaped vessels on which a power plant is installed to serve as a powerful electricity generation resource.
“Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger says the utility rented a barge-mounted turbine in 2006 when power generation at the Koeberg nuclear power plant in the Western Cape was reduced due to the incident with an errant bolt. The barge was rented for a few months to supplement power supply to the Western Cape.
Etzinger says a powership with a generation capacity of 310MW, like that of Karadeniz, should be capable of powering a town like East London. The idea is however not to make a town self-sufficient, but rather to feed the electricity into the national grid.
He says while floating generation can alleviate the supply problem, the cost may be comparable to the cost of running Eskom’s diesel plants, which means it only solves one part of the problem.” Read original article at Moneyweb…
Considering the costs involved we are yet to see if this is indeed a viable solution for the country, but it certainly seems to be a convenient one.