Energy masterplanning, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
The KwaDukuza Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal is one of the fastest growing municipalities in South Africa. Situated less than 50 km north of the King Shaka International Airport and located on the N2 Development Corridor route, KwaDukuza consists of a variety of settlements and small towns that are linked with a well-developed network of roads and rail infrastructure. Economic growth in the area, however, has been constrained by the lack of reliable electricity supply and in order to address this, the KwaDukuza Municipality launched its Electricity Priority Projects (EPP) programme in 2009.
The scope involved the establishment of new supply points with Eskom, the construction of new substations, upgrading of existing substations and feeder lines as well as the establishment of primary cable network rings and nodal switch-rooms within the municipality’s northern and southern networks, including Ballito.
One of the challenges that the project team experienced was lack of documentation of the existing electrical networks. In order to solve this problem, the Aurecon team embarked on manual field-auditing of the existing plant. The need for an energy masterplan meant that not only did the existing electricity networks need to be planned and assessed, but they also needed to create a 10-year electricity load forecast, identify potential demand growth and assess the electrical infrastructure capacity against the predicted load growth.
The existing refurbishment plans and expansion plans needed to be reviewed in order to create an energy masterplan that can align with the Municipality’s fast growth. The energy masterplan that Aurecon created provided a viable and sustainable solution to the existing challenges related to the poor quality and reliability of electricity supply.
The KwaDukuza Municipality’s new energy masterplan not only strengthened existing electricity networks to enable economic growth, but it also provided access to basic electricity supply for a number of residential dwellings within the municipal boundary areas.