Vodacom and Eskom have entered into a Virtual Wheeling pact to mitigate the ongoing energy challenges in South Africa. This strategic move aligns with Vodacom’s commitment to derive electricity entirely from renewable sources by 2025. With this agreement in place, Vodacom is set to embark on its subsequent phase, which involves collaborating with Independent Power Producers (IPPs) on terms akin to those established with Eskom.
Shameel Joosub, Vodacom’s Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the game-changing nature of this collaboration for the corporate sector in tackling the power shortages and ending load shedding.
He stated, “Our alliance with Eskom is groundbreaking. The virtual wheeling initiative not only empowers the private sector of South Africa to play a pivotal role in resolving the persistent energy challenges that hamper our nation’s economic progress but also serves as a model for other South African enterprises to emulate. By pooling our resources, we share a unified goal: to eradicate load shedding. Depending on the licensed capacity available from IPPs, the implementation of the virtual wheeling initiative can be expedited.”
Given Vodacom’s intricate operational framework, conventional solutions were not feasible. However, after a successful trial, the virtual wheeling method is now available, contributing to grid stability and reducing carbon emissions.
This strategy resonates with Vodacom’s aspiration to transition 30% of its energy consumption to renewable sources, paving the way for a more sustainable future.
The prospects for virtual wheeling are promising. Several entities from diverse sectors have already expressed their commercial interest in the solution, which Vodacom’s subsidiary, Mezzanine, facilitates.