The effort to safeguard medical facilities against load shedding goes on

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The effort to safeguard medical facilities against load shedding goes on

Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity, said the government is
still working to protect healthcare facilities from load shedding.
The Minister was speaking at the Budget Vote for the Ministry in Parliament.

With 76 hospitals now not experiencing power outages and work on another 46 hospitals already
ongoing, the government has already identified 213 institutions that can be exempt from load
shedding. “The remaining hospitals have sufficient backup power supply from diesel generators.
Nevertheless, diesel costs remain a major expenditure driver, especially during higher load shedding

“Apart from the diesel costs, the electricity costs are significant. An embedded generation option for
health facilities (hospitals) will reduce operating costs whilst providing security and quality of
supply,” he said.

The Minister stated that in order to address “the impact of load shedding and mitigate the impact of
high diesel costs on medical facilities,” the ministry has already started developing costing scenarios
for the installation of alternative energy sources for hospitals.

“Based on the Department of Health figures, to cover 137 hospitals (varying between small and
large), R10.1 billion capital expenditure will be required to provide a combined solar, battery and
inverter solution.

“In contrast, for the same 137 small hospitals, diesel generators will cost R89.1 million in capital
costs, whilst large hospitals will cost R411 million (capital costs). However, the operating cost
(primarily diesel purchase) will cost R3.3 billion and R655 million annually for large and small
hospitals, respectively.

“A rapid deployment of embedded generation or ‘micro-grid’ solutions, including roof-top solar for
hospitals, other critical installations, and economic hubs, will be possible through an aggregated
power purchase agreement,” he said.

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