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South Africa’s First Virtual Electricity Transfer Model is likely to Go Live by Late 2024

The move that could rapidly ramp up renewable power consumption and reduce the burden on ailing state utility Eskom. The utility in August signed an agreement with Vodacom (VODJ.J), the African telecoms arm of Vodafone (VOD.L), to introduce an electricity transfer model known as virtual wheeling, which will allow a consumer to buy renewable power from any producer anywhere in the country. This is expected to make power from large renewable producers available to smaller users such as standalone buildings, housing societies and factories. Traditional wheeling – the delivery of energy from a private renewable energy generator to a buyer through Eskom’s grid – typically involves a one-to-one relationship between big buyers and sellers. Eskom’s ageing plants and struggling transmission grid have forced it to implement record daily power cuts since last year – sometimes for up to 10 hours a day – to prevent a grid collapse.