Electrical expansion towards Thembalethu and eastern business zone on track

Electrical expansion to George’s eastern areas is on track following the recent completion of the second phase of a project that saw the completion of an important overhead line ring network.

The construction of the additional 7km-long 66kV overhead line ring from Ballots Bay substation to Glenwood substation completed a larger ring network between Protea and Glenwood substations, which in turn is part of a larger project to supply sufficient long-term supply to the rapidly expanding eastern areas.

George Municipality Director Electrotechnical Services Paul Gerber said the past decade had seen fast growth towards the east of the city which included the expanding Garden Route Mall/Eden Meander business zone, Kraaibosch/Groenkloof residential area and electrification of low-cost housing in Thembalethu. “The municipality’s bulk infrastructure network was not sufficient to accommodate the quick rate in which the area was expanding and required urgent strengthening.”

Funded by the Department of Energy through the Integrated National Electrification Programme (INEP) grant, phase one of the project was completed in July 2015 and included the construction of a new 66kV overhead line from the existing Protea 66/11kV substation to the proposed position of a new 66/11kV substation being planned for Thembalethu. The INEP grant funding at the time was not enough to complete the ring network all the way to the existing 66kV Glenwood Substation, which was addressed recently with the construction of the Ballots Bay-Glenwood line, finally closing the ring network between the Protea and Glenwood substations.

Mr Gerber said the Protea 66/11V substation currently supplied Thembalethu and Pacaltsdorp, which in turn is supplied via a radial feeder from Schaapkop 132/66kV Substation. The line is not enough to address the demands for the area and there are currently no other connections to the larger network to take the load off.

“The recently completed Ballots Bay-Glenwood ring now allows for the last piece in the puzzle, the construction of a substation at Thembalethu – when this is complete, the overall 66kV bulk infrastructure will be connected and therefor stronger and better equipped to deal with electricity issues that cannot be properly addressed on the current network,” said Mr Gerber.

The construction of a substation in Thembalethu is expected to commence later in the current 2019/20 financial year.

Caption: A substation outside George (generic purpose only: this is Proefplaas substation, which is not a substation mentioned in the above press release)

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