renewable city
renewable city
South Africa’s national electricity grid is to be integrated with cleaner, greener power sources. Pic credit: radio timisoara

In Southern Africa, South African-based renewable energy generation solutions company NRG Renew Africa, is gearing itself to resubmit its proposal to participate in an additional round of the department of energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

In May, South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said during her 2015/16 budget speech that all previous unsuccessful bidders were welcome to submit proposals for an additional 1,800MW.

Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP)

Joemat-Pettersson released to the market earlier this month an additional 13 preferred bidders, under round 4.5 of the REIPPP programme. The minister said that the added power projects will contribute an additional 1,084MW to the country’s power grid.

This bidding round (4.5) follows on the initial round four in April, where 13 preferred bidders were awarded contracts in on-shore wind, solar photovoltaic (PV), biomass and mini hydroelectric power, which will contribute 1,121MW to the national grid once they have reached completion.

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

Positioning in the market

According to Engineering News, NRG has recently acquired energy consulting company Kayema, in attempts to gain a competitive advantage within the industrial and commercial sectors such as mining, property, retail and manufacturing.

NRG Renew Africa CEO Grant Pattison told Engineering News that it will collaborate with various contractors and material suppliers while at the same time overlaying the facilities with NRG operations software and maintenance procedures.

Tackling load shedding

Pattison said: “There are only two options when it comes to load-shedding: either you wait it out, or you invest in diesel generation or an uninterruptible power supply.

“The solutions will all look like solar PV plants with generators, batteries, inverters and a computer system. But the structure of the contract could be very different, because the issues in mining around a PPA [Power Purchase Agreement] are fundamentally different from those in property, retail or manufacturing.”

Round five of REIPPPP

Joemat-Pettersson added in her budget speech that a redesign of the current Request for Proposal (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.”