The South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) named Oya Energy as one of the eight preferred bidders in the government’s Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).
Oya Energy will own and operate the 128MW plant near the town of Matjiesfontein, straddling the Western and Northern Cape Provinces. The plant will be the largest hybrid energy project in Africa and is unique in the world in terms of technology mix, size, and price.
Co-founder of G7 Renewable Energies and Director of Oya Energy, Dr Killian Hagemann, welcomed the announcement made on 18 March by DMRE Minister Gwede Mantashe of the winners, which included the hybrid facility developed by G7 Renewable Energies in the Karoo.
Dr Hagemann commented: “The Oya project matches and exceeds governments expectations as it is extremely competitive while still complying with all strict requirements set by the IPP Office and its advisors, guaranteeing full compliance in terms of South African regulations. “
According to the director, value for money played a key role in the design choices and operational philosophy of the project.
He further explained that: “While in the last few years these technologies have proven to be the cheapest form of generation, some observers continue to criticise wind and solar for its lack of reliability and dependability, especially at times when the grid is under strain.”
Through its unique combination of co-located wind turbines and PV arrays with a large battery, Oya can provide some power on demand at a lower cost than flexible gas projects and practically without harmful CO2 or other emissions, bringing us closer to our 2050 vision of powering South Africa’s electricity grid on 100% renewables, Hagemann stated.
Location of the Oya Energy hybrid facility
As early as 2009, G7 Renewable Energies identified and secured various high potential sites across the country with the help of its ground-breaking first comprehensive wind map of the country based on a mesoscale model.
The key strength of Oya’s location is its natural resources together with relative proximity to the national grid. The project also falls within the Komsberg Renewable Energy Development Zone (REDZ).
G7 Director Nicolas Rolland said that the site was selected after years of an extensive and rigorous investigation. “The ideal site comprises several factors such as wind and solar resources and their complementarity, suitable topography, grid proximity and capacity, accessibility, as well as limited environmental and permitting constraints,” he said.
“Oya embraces all aspects of the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, acknowledging that the programme aims to act as a key driver for long term economic development in the local communities,” concluded Rolland.
Construction of the Oya Energy Hybrid Project should start before the end of 2021 with a fast-tracked completion date of no longer than 18 months thereafter to help ease South Africa’s power crisis.
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