South Africa’s government has confirmed that successful bidders under the fourth round of its renewable energy programme will not be announced until the New Year.

The country’s Department of Energy delayed an announcement on projects chosen for the fourth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme expected at the end of November.

There had been some suggestions that the announcement would be made before Christmas, but a brief statement on the department’s website today said it would now happen in early 2015.

Over the first three rounds of the REIPPPP, 64 solar PV projects totalling almost 1.5GW have been awarded contracts to supply power to South Africa’s utility, Eskom.

The first of these projects have been entering operation over the past year, prompting the South Africa Photovoltaic Industry Association last week to herald an “exponential” increase in the contribution made by PV-generated electricity to the grid.

In the fourth window of the REIPPPP at least 400MW of PV is available, though there have been reports the total could be much higher than this.

The bidding window for round four closed in mid-August and an announcement of the successful projects had been expected on 24 November.