Hydroelectric Plants in South Africa
Gariep
Location: Free State
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 4 X 90 MW Francis
Operation: 1971-1976
T/G supplier: Fuji, Toshiba
Quick facts: The village built in 1960 to house dam workers has now become a holiday resort. The Gariep Dam and 90km reservoir, about 200km south of Bloemfontein on the Orange River, is now a major regional tourist attraction. The Gariep Dam Nature reserve is home to many species of antelope and the Cape zebra.

Photograph courtesy of Eskom
Posted 7 Mar 2001

Merino
Location: Free State
Operator: Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Configuration: 1 X 4-MW Kaplan
Operation: 2010
T/G supplier: Fouress
EPC: Ninham Shand Consulting Engineers, Eigenbau (Pty) Ltd
Quick facts: This run-of-river SHP has a diversion weir, an 800m canal, and a small forebay. The powerhouse is situated mostly below ground level and houses a single double-regulated horizontal axis Kaplan turbine. The plant is connected to the national grid by way of a 22KV line.

Photograph courtesy of earthtalk.org
Posted 1 Nov 2015

Neusberg
Location: Northern Cape
Operator: Kakamas Hydro Electric Power (Pty) Ltd
Configuration: 3 X 4.01-MW Kaplan
Operation: 2015
T/G supplier: Hydro Power Plant France, WEG
EPC: Entura, CSV Hydro (Pty) Ltd
Quick facts: Neusberg is on the Orange River near Kakamas. Construction began in Jun 2013 and the power station began operation in Jan 2015, on time and on budget. It was officially opened on 3 Mar 2015. This was the first run-of-river SHP delivered under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Program (REIPPP). KHEP is owned by Hydro Tasmania, Hydro 1 SA (Pty) Ltd, Old Mutual, and a community trust funded by the Industrial Development Corp.

Photograph courtesy of earthtalk.org
Posted 1 Nov 2015

Sol Plaatje Dam
Location: Free StateAfrica
Operator: Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Configuration: 3 X 1 MW Kaplan
Operation: 2009
T/G supplier: Boving Fouress
EPC: Ninham Shand Consulting Engineers, Eigenbau (Pty) Ltd
Quick facts: This plant at the wall of the Sol Plaatje Dam on the Ash River in Free State was commissioned in Oct 2009, the first new hydro plant in South Africa since 1988. Project development of this facility and a sister plant at Merino started in 2001 and financial close was in Aug 2005. Construction got underway in Dec 2006. Permitting, licensing, and PPA agreements were essentially first of a kind in the country. Annual output from Sol Plaatje is expected to be 19 GWh/yr The projects cost about ZAR 100mn, up substantially from the initial R77mn cost estimate. The original developer was Bethlehem Hydro (Pty) Ltd.

Photograph courtesy of Bethlehem Hydro (Pty) Ltd
Posted 12 Dec 2009

Stortemelk
Location: Free State
Operator: Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Configuration: 1 X 4.5-MW Kaplan
Operation: 2016
T/G supplier: Andritz, Indar
EPC: Aurecon, Eigenbau (Pty) Ltd
Quick facts: This SHP was built at the Botterkloof Dam on the Ash River near Clarens. Debt finance was provided by Rand Merchant Bank and equity investment by REH, Mertech Group, and economic empowerment entity Vapotouch (Pty) Ltd. Construction started in Aug 2014 and Stortemelk was commissioned basically to schedule on 29 Jul 2016. Total project cost was ZAR 190mn. This is one of three REH projects with preferred bidder status in the second round of RSA's renewable energy development program.

Photograph courtesy of Renewable Energy Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Posted 14 Aug 2016

Vanderkloof Dam
Location: Northern Cape
Operator: Eskom
Configuration: 2 X 120 MW Francis
Operation: 1977
T/G supplier: Hitachi, Toshiba
EPC: DWAF
Quick facts: Originally called the P K le Roux Dam. The dam is 130km downstream of Gariep and forms the second largest reservoir in South Africa. The composite gravity arch dam is 107m high and 765m long. Construction was deferred in 1967 and re-tendered in 1970. Costs were much higher than expected so DWAF was directed to undertake construction with design by a consortium of local and overseas companies. Construction started in Apr 1971 and the project was commissioned in Sep 1977.

Photograph by R McKenzie and courtesy of Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Posted 19 Mar 2006

Abbreviations

Data: industcards, Platts UDI World Electric Power Plants Data Base

Updated 14-Aug-2016

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