South African utility receives half a billion dollars for conversion from coal to renewables

South African utility Eskom is to receive a $497 million loan from the World Bank – including $47.5 million from the Canadian Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility loan – to decommission the Komati coal-fired power plant (photo) and replace its generating capacity with renewables. Komati’s last generating unit of 121 megawatts (MW), which began operation in 1966, was shut down at the end of October 2022. The first phase of repurposing will install 150 MW of photovoltaics, 70 MW of wind power and 150 MW of battery storage.
The decommissioning and repurposing of the Komati coal-fired power plant is intended to be a demonstration project for future projects in South Africa and around the world, according to the World Bank. The loan is part of an $8.5 billion financial package offered by wealthy countries to help South Africa reduce its carbon emissions. These are among the highest in the world because the country uses coal to generate most of its electricity.

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