South African renewables call for end to construction shutdown

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Image credit: South African Tourism / Flickr

South African solar representatives have come on board a campaign to ensure the installation of renewable plants can resume in May, coinciding with a relaxation of national lockdown measures.

This week, a letter co-signed by national bodies for PV (SAPVIA), wind (SAWEA), energy storage (SAESA), thermal solar (STASA) and broader renewables (SAREC) called on the government to include green energy construction in the list of sectors allowed back to work starting next month.

The government of president Cyril Ramaphosa – who is consulting the country over which activities should resume when South Africa’s lockdown eases from level 5 to 4 on 1 May – should consider renewables’ contribution to electricity supply and economic recovery, the associations said.

In their missive, the organisations argued the green energy sector is already “accustomed to operating in a controlled environment” and has enacted “strict health [and] safety protocols”. Any additional requirements can be “easily accommodated” if construction resumes, the letter said.

To bolster their case, SAPVIA and the other associations pointed at the 2.23GW large-scale enewable pipeline they said currently lies under construction. According to their records (see table below), solar accounts for an 800MW-plus share of that total.

There is also, the letter said, the separate 800MW pipeline of embedded generation projects to consider. These privately-owned facilities “provide mitigation to the high risk of load shedding as the economy reopens,” the associations claimed.

South Africa’s plans for a phased reopening of its economy in May follow the roll-out of strict lockdown measures on 27 March. The quarantine has paralysed the work of solar EPCs – Spain’s Gransolar included – and brought delays to the processing of IPP project applications.

In South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic comes after bumpy years for its REIPPP renewables procurement programme, launched in 2011. In early 2019, the government said it was mulling the renegotiation of existing PPAs to ease the financial burdens of offtaker and state-run utility Eskom.

Renewable players – who have faced off a REIPPPP legal challenge from coal truckers – hailed last October the government’s allocation of a new 6GW of solar, coupled the following month by plans for three new ”fast-tracking” renewable energy zones.

The 800MW-plus of under-construction solar in South Africa

Solar project name Capacity (MW) Province Town
Bokamoso 67.9 North West Matlosana
Aggeneys Solar Project 40 Northern Cape Aggeneys
Zeerust 75 North West Ramotshere Moiloa
Waterloo Solar Park 75 North West Vryburg
Solar Capital Orange 75 Northern Cape Loeriesfontein
Sirius Solar PV Project One 75 Northern Cape Upington
Konkoonsies II Solar Facility 75 Northern Cape Pofadder
Greefspan PV Power Plant No. 2 Solar Park 55 Northern Cape Douglas
Dyason’s Klip 1 75 Northern Cape Upington
Dyason’s Klip 2 75 Northern Cape Upington
Droogfontein 2 Solar 75 Northern Cape Kimberley
De Wildt 50 North West Brits
Source: SAPVIA, SAWEA, SAESA, STASA, SAREC

PV Tech has set up a dedicated tracker to map out how the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting solar supply chains worldwide. You can read the latest updates here.

If you have a COVID-19 statement to share or a story on how the pandemic is disrupting a solar business anywhere in the world, do get in touch at jrojo@solarmedia.co.uk or lstoker@solarmedia.co.uk.

15 September 2022
Bifacial PV modules will be the dominant solar PV technology globally within one or two years; in the utility-scale sector, their market share is already above 70%. This webinar will provide a clear view on the successful implementation of bifacial technology, maximizing system performance and minimising LCoE.
4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

August 11, 2022
German project developer Energiequelle has entered the Polish renewables market with an eye on 30 projects with more than 1GW of capacity.
PV Tech Premium
August 4, 2022
PV Tech Premium unpicks South Africa's recently unveiled policy measures aimed at tackling the country's energy crisis and boosting renewables deployment.
August 3, 2022
Spain has started the process to celebrate a fourth round of renewables auction in November with 1.8GW of solar capacity to accelerate its electrification.
August 2, 2022
Swiss PV module manufacturer Meyer Burger has slashed its production plans for 2022 and 2023, citing a “challenging supply chain environment” which has caused delays to its planned production capacity build out.
August 1, 2022
US utility CenterPoint Energy has sought approval from the Indiana Utility Regulation Commission (IURC) to acquire a 130MW solar PV project in Pike County, Indiana.
July 28, 2022
Enel Green Power has started construction of a solar PV park of 486.7MWdc in the northern department of Atlántico in Colombia.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
September 7, 2022
15:30 AEST (UTC +10)
Solar Media Events
September 14, 2022
London
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA
Solar Media Events
October 11, 2022
Virtual event