Renewable energy
South Africa's power struggles have opened up a window of opportunity for renewable solutions.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson
South African Energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson adds an additional 13 preffered bidders in round four which is to add a further  1,084MW of clean power to the country’s power grid

On Monday, the South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson announced a further 13 preferred bidders under round four of the department of energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The minister said that the added power projects will contribute an additional 1,084MW to the country’s power grid, Reuters reported.

Increasing green power

South Africa receives 95% of its energy consumption from state-owned Eskom which uses coal as its predominant base-load fuel. The power company has had to seek alternative power resources which are cleaner and more sustainable due to depleting coal reserves and government’s implementation of the carbon tax law.

In April, the Department of Energy (DoE) announced 13 preferred bidders in round four under the REIPPPP programme which will contribute 1,121MW to the grid once all the power projects reach completion.

Round four welcomed bidders involved in wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), biomass and small-scale hydro power.

In the first round of phase four, power projects were awarded to five on-shore wind farms, six solar PV plants, one small-scale hydropower plant and one biomass plant.

This brings the total of 92 power projects approved by the DoE with a capacity of 6,327MW across all REIPPPP bid windows.

Request for proposals

Following the announcement in April, Joemat-Pettersson added that the DoE would be issuing a Request for Further Proposals (RFP) for an expedited procurement process of 1800MW from all technologies.

Joemat-Pettersson said: “This bidding process would be open to all unsuccessful bidders from all previous bid windows, which are ready for re-submission. The RFP for this expedited procurement process will be issued by no later than early June 2015 and the IPP Office will release more details on the proposed process for this in due course.”

The minister added that a redesign of the current RFP will be done for the fifth round and is expected to be ready for release in Q2 of 2016.

She added: “Key aspects of the RFP that will be redesigned include the definition of local community, the mechanisms to ensure early, efficient and equitable benefits to the communities and the local content/industrialisation regime, as well as to take into account the constrained distribution and transmission systems that we [are] dealing with.”

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