21 May 2012 – The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia) has welcomed with great enthusiasm the announcement of the preferred bidders for round two of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) by the South African minister of energy on May 21st.

The nine photovoltaic (PV) projects among the 19 preferred bidders selected come to 417 MW and Sapvia says this momentum is crucial in helping to attract foreign investment into South Africa and to ensure that there is long term viability for the sector. The nine solar PV bidders selected as preferred bidders were: the 75 MW Solar Capital De Aar3, the 74 MW Sishen solar facility, a nine megawatt Aurora project, the 8.8 MW Vredendal project, the 36.8 MW Linde project, the 69.6 MW Dreunberg venture, the 75 MW Jasper Power Company development, the 60 MW Boshoff Solar Park, and the 8.9 MW Upington Solar PV plant. The average prices offered by the solar PV developers fell from 2.75 c/kWh in window one to 1.65c/kWh in this window.

Sapvia is working closely with government to collectively develop a roll-out programme to increase the local content for PV technologies in South Africa which will further strengthen the value of solar PV. The association says that a long term procurement programme, beyond the current 1,450 MW of solar projects, is needed in order to stimulate further investment in local manufacturing and ensure that there is a long term future for the industry. To this end Sapvia is also working with Eskom and government to look at ways to initiate a large scale solar rooftop programme.

Other successful bidders were; in the wind sector: the 135.2 MW Gouda project, the 137.9 MW Amakhala project submitted by Cennergi, the 94.8 MW Tsitsikamma project submitted by Cennergi, the 90.8 MW West Coast 1 project; the 23.4 MW Waainek venture, the 59.8 MW Grassridge project, and the 20.6 MW Chaba project. The average prices offered by the wind project in round two fell from 114c/kWh to 89c/kWh.
Two small hydropower preferred bidders were named, these being the 4.3 MW Stortemelk Hydro scheme and the 10 MW Neusberg project. The remaining 50 MW concentrated solar power left to be allocated under the current 3,625 MW REIPPP programme was awarded to the Bokpoort CSP project.