Following the signing of the 27 outstanding power purchase agreements (PPAs) with renewables projects totalling 2.3GW on Wednesday, the renewables sector was bursting with joy at the developments.
Following the signing, Tom Dyffort, Managing Director at Altitec South Africa, a specialist turbine blade repair business that opened a dedicated training facility in Cape Town in November 2017, has drawn attention to the South African government's commitment to partnering with the private sector to ensure the continued expansion of the country's renewables sector.
"In addition to finalising the REIPPP projects, we particularly welcome Minister Radebe's commitment to partnering with the private sector to further South African renewables. Initiatives that allow local South Africans to acquire the skills needed to enter the wind industry will be essential to driving indigenous job creation as the sector grows.
"With the South African wind market expected to see significant medium- to long-term growth in its installed capacity, we're proud to be supporting it by providing technical training to the next generation of South African turbine rotor blade repair technicians."
Dr Chris Haw, Chairman of SOLA Future Energy, commented: “This signing has been a long time coming, and it’s a monumental moment for the South African renewable energy industry.”
SOLA Future Energy’s subsidiary company Aurora Power Solutions developed 170MW worth of solar PV projects that are currently in preferred bidder status and have been awaiting execution.
Haw added: “Renewables are cheaper and more sustainable forms of energy. Their adoption will reduce the cost of electricity for households and businesses in the long run.”
Renewables to boost economic growth
Renewable energy sources have a cheaper levelised cost of energy (LCOE) than coal and nuclear and their adoption shows the country’s commitment to international economic trends. Read more: Wind sector beams with joy on IPP progress
Haw explained that the signing also shows the government’s potential interest to move ahead with “Small Scale” IPP projects (SPP), a programme similar to the REIPPP but for smaller projects that contain a higher degree of local ownership.
“The small IPP projects have huge potential to encourage economic growth. They have a sharp focus on BBBEE, local procurement, and local operation, which means that the economic spinoffs for local economies will be more pronounced per megawatt procured,” Haw pointed out.