South African court rejects bid to block US$4.7 billion renewable energy deals
29 March: A South African court has dismissed a legal bid to block the signing of US$4.7 billion in renewable energy deals, according to Reuters.
A total of 27 Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Projects (REIPPP) contracts had been lined up for signatures.
The last-minute legal challenge was lodged on 13 March by the National Union of Metalworkers (NUMSA) and Transform RSA, a group which has lobbied for ousted president Jacob Zuma in the past.
Canadian Solar acquires a 97.6MW solar project in Argentina
29 March: Canadian Solar hs acquired a 97.6MW solar PV project in Cafayate, Salta Province, Argentina.
The Cafayate Project was awarded in the second public renewable energy tender in Argentina (RenovAr 1.5), with 20-year power purchase agreement at US$56.28/MWh.
Canadian Solar plans to start construction on the plant in July 2018. Once connected to the grid by Q2 of 2019, the plant will generate approximately 235,777MWh of electricity per year, which will be sold to CAMMESA (Compañía Administradora del Mercado Mayorista Eléctrico).
Nigerian Renewables association decries solar import duty
29 March: The Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) has said the Nigeria Customs Service is forcing its members to pay between 5-10% import duty on solar panels, according to widely reported comments.
REAN said import duty on solar panels should be 0% under current codes and that dispersal of solar modules had been slowed down and demurrage charges had risen for its members since the start of the year.
Nigeria currently only has a limited amount of module assembly capacity and cannot meet market demand, so it depends on solar imports, said REAN.