South Africa signs PPAs for 975MW of solar PV in latest renewables procurement round

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Preferred bids for the sixth REIPPPP have also been released, with 860MW of solar PV allocated out of 1GW. Image: Scatec.

The fifth bidding round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has signed 975MW of power purchase agreements (PPAs) with 13 solar PV projects.

Renewables consortium Ikamva – led by Globeleq and Mainstream Renewable Power – had the most projects signed with six located in the Free State province, followed by Norwegian independent power producer (IPP) Scatec with three for 273MW of power capacity, while utility giant Engie’s consortium was also awarded three solar PV projects – two in Free State and one in Northern Cape – and TotalEnergies the remaining plant in Northern Cape.

Jonathan Hoffman, chief development officer at Globeleq, said: “We are committed to adding further clean and sustainable electricity generation to help address South Africa’s significant energy needs, support their Just Energy Transition Partnership and deliver jobs and skills development.”

Once the projects reach commercial and financial close they will have 24 months to be completed and will be expected to reach commercial operation in 2025.

Furthermore, the government also released the preferred bids for the sixth REIPPPP, which was opened last April, allocating a total of 860MW to five solar PV projects. The projects have reached an average tariff of ZAR490.48/MWh (US$28.02/MWh), an 8% increase from the previous bid window.

Project nameContracted capacity (MW)Price (ZAR)Province
Kutlwano Solar Power Plant150469.50North West
Boitumelo Solar Power Plant150469.50North West
Virginia Solar Park240486.50Free State
Good Hope Solar Park200498.90Free State
Doornhoek PV120540.00North West
List of solar PV projects awarded in the sixth REIPPPP window. Source: Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy.

A sixth project has been identified as eligible and the government is in discussions with the bidder, potentially increasing the total allocated capacity to 1GW.

This would still remain short of the 4.2GW of solar and wind capacity the sixth window aimed after its capacity was increased in July along with a series of measures to respond to South Africa’s energy crisis, with none of the wind capacity awarded.

Among those measures include Eskom making land available near its power stations in the Mpumalanga province, which will add 2GW of renewables capacity.

Moreover, the government is in discussions with Eskom to solve grid challenges the country is currently facing as the National Energy Regulator of South Africa is considering a determination for nearly 15GW of new generation capacity, according to Gwede Mantashe, minister of mineral resources and energy.

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