3 March 2015
The first power has been produced out of the Medupi power station’s Unit 6, South Africa’s energy utility Eskom announced on Monday morning.
“Eskom is pleased to announce that first power was produced out of Medupi’s Unit 6 today at 11.03am, making it the first of Medupi power station’s six units to be synchronised,” Eskom said.
Synchronisation, or first power, is the process in which the unit’s generator is electrically connected to the national power grid in such a way that its power is aligned with all the other generators to generate and deliver electricity into the national power grid.
According to Tshediso Matona, Eskom’s chief executive, this is the final stage marking an exciting milestone towards full commercial power of the plant located in Limpopo.
“Today, we celebrate the achievement with Team Medupi. The electricity flowing into the grid marks a new beginning. Within the next three months, South Africa will see Medupi Unit 6’s full potential of 794MW being fed into the South African national grid. I congratulate Team Medupi, for their efforts in achieving this important milestone for South Africa.”
In anticipation of commercial operation, a power station manager has been appointed. The past six years have been spent training and developing a core set of people who will operate the power station’s cutting-edge technology.
“Approximately 350 men and women are waiting to join the force of South Africans making history when the unit gets operational,” said Matona. “While Unit 6 is the first of Medupi’s six units, it should be noted that all required auxiliary services for the entire power station are ready to ensure that Medupi’s total output of 4&nbsb;764MW is fully synchronised to the South African power grid.”
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said: “The synchronisation of Unit 6 at Medupi Power station is a step towards full-power generation (794MW) and, therefore, a step closer to alleviating some of the energy challenges currently faced by South Africa. This will contribute significantly to South Africa’s and the region’s economy in the long run.
“We recognise that this is only the beginning, but I am confident that achieving this significant milestone will sustain the dedication and commitment of the Eskom team as they work towards the completion of the project.”