Western Cape MEC David Maynier has announced the formation of the Western Cape Municipal Energy Resilience Fund, a R13 million fund for research and planning to determine the requirements and potential costs of renewable energy projects.
“I am pleased to announce that applications are now open,” Maynier said on 2 September, explaining the fund will support efforts to build energy security and buffer households and businesses from load shedding in the Western Cape.
“The launch of the fund is the next critical step in Phase 1 of our Municipal Energy Resilience (MER) Initiative which aims to help municipalities to take advantage of the new energy regulations, which may include municipalities purchasing energy directly from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).”
The aim of the fund is to support preparatory work for the development of Electricity Master Plans and Cost of Supply Studies. By helping municipalities to assess grid availability, infrastructure needs and costs, they can develop thorough plans for financially sustainable renewable energy projects.
The launch of the fund follows a successful Request for Information (RFI) for the MER Initiative which solicited information for more than 100 potential energy generation projects from 82 submissions from private sector developers and owners and a further 15 submissions from the Western Cape municipalities.
Maynier reported that of 82 private project submissions, 62 submissions represent potentially viable generation capacity of more than 4,800MW. “Of these, 12% (590MW) of projects appear capable of reaching commercial operation within 12 months, while 75% (nearly 3,600MW) of projects indicated commercialisation within two years from signing a power purchase agreement.”
Generation projects range from 1MW to above 100MW across a number of technologies, with solar PV the largest generation technology group followed by onshore wind.
Maynier shared that “respondents ranged from large, established project developers and owners to smaller emerging project developers”. While. most of the projects are located in the Western Cape, there were several submissions from outside the province with some potential intentions of wheeling.
“The early results presented from the RFI support the fact that there are significant and relevant energy generation projects in the market for the Western Cape, and so we are pleased to announce the opening of the Western Cape Municipal Energy Resilience Fund today which takes us one step closer to increased energy resilience in the Western Cape,” Maynier concluded.
Click here for more information on the Western Cape Municipal Energy Resilience Fund