Friedenheim hydro plant (2MW)
The Friedenheim hydro plant on the Crocodile River in Nelspruit (South Africa) is an example of a hydro plant that feeds power in parallel with the national electricity grid to Mbombela Local Municipality.
Friedenheim hydro can be viewed as the only existing Independent Power Producer (IPP) in South Africa (apart from the Bethlehem Hydro project). It is privately owned, sells the bulk of the generated electricity through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and is a profitable operation.
The plant is operated as a commercially profitable and sustainable business venture. It is owned by the members of Friedenheim Irrigation Board and operated by MBB – an engineering firm. The plant provides power for water pumping to FIB, but 93% of the power generated is sold to the Mbombela local authority through a PPA that sets the tariff at 12% below the price at which Mbombela buys power from Eskom (its bulk electricity provider).