Eskom Announces Komati Training Facility With the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP)
Friday, September 23, 2022 – Eskom, the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) based at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) have today signed agreements for the development of the Komati Training Facility. This seeks to contribute to a ‘just’ transition for the local community as the Komati power station is decommissioned. The facility will enable Eskom to reskill, retrain and upskill workers and communities, as appropriate. In addition to the training facility, which is part of Eskom’s Komati Repowering and Repurposing project, Komati will be repowered with 150 MW of solar, 70 MW of wind and 150 MW of batteries. Eskom has also established a containerized micro-grid assembly factory at Komati. The Komati Repowering and Repurposing project is one of the largest coal-fired power plant decommissioning, repowering and repurposing projects globally and will provide a tangible case-study for the world on how to transition fossil-fuel assets.
“Eskom is pleased to be partnering with the CPUT, SARETEC and GEAPP on this ground-breaking initiative. The training facility complements Eskom’s JET plans to RE-ignite – in other words – not only repower and repurpose plant – but to re-train, re-skill and re-empower people to take advantage of the transition that is upon us. Mpumalanga is endowed with the best of resources for the just energy transition – wind, solar, skilled people, and available grid capacity and therefore has the potential to once again become the thriving energy hub of the country.”
The funding for the training facility will be provided by GEAPP. These funds will be used to establish the training facility and will enable SARETEC – the only fully accredited training centre for renewable energy in South Africa on Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO) – and Eskom to educate, reskill, and upskill Eskom Komati Power Station staff and qualifying beneficiaries from the surrounding communities in the Mpumalanga region. Upon completion, the training centre will be managed by Eskom’s Academy of Learning (EAL) who will be supported by SARETEC to achieve accreditation over time, enabling Eskom to replicate this initiative in other locations.
“South Africa can be a lighthouse for emerging markets, demonstrating the way to achieve a truly just, job creating energy transition,” said Joseph Nganga, Executive Director for Africa of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP). “We are thrilled to be supporting this new training facility, which will focus on the upskilling of workers, before decommissioning has even begun. This facility can inform reskilling programs at other power stations and catalyze investment in South Africa’s energy transition. ” The project presents a unique opportunity for the creation and scaling up of new industries across the renewables value chain. Taking full advantage of these opportunities will require the retraining and upskilling for parts of South African workforce. This will mitigate the risk of job losses related to the decommissioning of coal-fired power stations and create new job opportunities, particularly for unemployed young people. The Komati Training Facility will serve as a blueprint for how these training requirements can be fulfilled.”
CPUT Vice-Chancellor Prof Chris Nhlapo thanked Eskom and GEAPP for their confidence in the university and assured them that the project had found the perfect home at SARETEC. “SARETEC is very different to other energy centres around the world, and I know that we have the requisite skills to fulfil a nationally imperative project like this. We will succeed because this model must be replicated across South Africa. The pursuit of an energy mix that is cleaner and greener is the only way we will address electricity challenges in this country. We are also grateful to be part of a solution that provides the Komati community with economic opportunities into the future. By assisting Eskom to set up and accredit its own training facility, SARETEC is fulfilling its mandate of supporting the socio-economic needs of the country, continent, and world.”
About the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC)
SARETEC is based at CPUT’s Bellville campus in Cape Town and has already trained hundreds of technicians in niche renewable energy skills since it began operating in 2016. The centre works closely with research institutions and industry to provide specialized accredited training in wind and solar energy amongst other offerings. In many respects this project is the realization of a goal set in 2013 when the Department of Higher Education and Training, through the National Skills Fund, began the process of establishing SARETEC to benefit South Africans and provide specialized skills in renewable energy. For more information, please visit www.saretec.org.za.
About the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP)
The Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP) is an alliance of local entrepreneurs, governments in emerging and developed economies, and technology, policy, and financing partners. Our common mission is to support developing countries’ shift to a clean energy, pro-growth model that ensures universal energy access and unlocks a new era of inclusive economic growth, while enabling the global community to meet critical climate goals during the next decade. In doing so, as an Alliance we aim to enable 150 million new jobs, reduce 4 gigatons of future carbon emissions, and expand clean energy access to one billion people. With philanthropic partners, Bezos Earth Fund, IKEA Foundation, and The Rockefeller Foundation, GEAPP works to build the enabling environment, capacity, and market conditions for private sector solutions, catalyze new business models through innovation and entrepreneurship, and deploy high-risk capital to encourage private sector solutions, and assist just transition solutions. For more information, please visit www.energyalliance.org and follow us on Twitter at @EnergyAlliance.
Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet
+1 917 912 6190,
South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre
+27 76 185 3410
Eskom Media Desk
Tel: +27 11 800 3433/5944/6050
Cell: 083 276 0606