USTDA, Eskom Partner on Transmission Grid Transformation

Arlington, VA – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a technical assistance grant to South Africa’s state-owned electric utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd (Eskom), to explore innovative technologies that can transform power delivery to millions of South Africans. The goal of the assistance is to increase the transmission grid’s capacity to absorb new, renewable sources of energy generation and reduce the frequency of power cuts across the country. Eskom selected Idaho-based POWER Engineers, Inc., to conduct the technical assistance.

“USTDA is proud to partner with Eskom on these innovative approaches toward investing in its grid, and to support an infrastructure project that South Africa has defined as a priority.” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “U.S. companies offer cutting-edge technologies that can help substantially reduce carbon emissions while providing more sustainability, resilience, and reliability to South Africa’s grid.”

The technical assistance will explore three distinct areas of technology that are critical near-term priorities for South Africa’s grid: artificial intelligence tools for system stability, energy storage systems and market modeling for cross-border energy trading structures. The technical assistance will assess the applicability and effectiveness of each technology and approach in South Africa.

Eskom Acting Group Chief Executive, Calib Cassim said: “Eskom is at the forefront of the unprecedented transition of the South African electricity supply industry towards increased adoption of clean technologies. This exciting partnership between Eskom and USTDA, through this technical assistance, affords Eskom an opportunity to obtain an independent review of the technologies that will support the long-term grid modernisation.”

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety II, said: “Supporting Eskom’s transmission grid is one of the key priorities of the South African government in the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan, and today the U.S. government is here to deliver on that priority. The U.S. Mission in South Africa is committed to building stronger ties between South Africa and the United States. U.S. agencies like USTDA help promote increased trade that leads to prosperity for both of our nations.”

Power Engineers CEO, Jim Haynes, said: “Across the world, utilities are reassessing how to design sustainable, resilient infrastructure. We’re excited to explore the possibilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning with the Eskom team. What we learn here together will demonstrate how innovative technology solutions can help meet today’s grid stability and decarbonization challenges.” 

In addition to the Just Energy Transition Partnership, USTDA’s grant also advances the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, Prosper Africa, and Power Africa initiatives, as well as USTDA’s Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure.


The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies.  USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.

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