Thin filmed solar PV
EGP Solar
State-owned power utility Eskom will purchase the generated solar power under a 20-year power purchase agreement

On Wednesday, international renewable energy developer SunEdison announced that it has secured a contract for a 86MW DC solar photovoltaic (PV) project in South Africa under the Department of Energy’s fourth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The Droogfontein 2 solar power plant will be located 20 kilometers south of Kimberly in the Northern Cape province and is expected to generate enough power to electrify 45,000 households, SunEdison said in a statement.

State-owned power utility Eskom will purchase the generated solar power under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Prime area for solar power

Enrique Collado, general manager for Africa at SunEdison, said: “Solar is a perfect solution to meet South Africa’s growing energy needs.”

“Solar energy is cost competitive with fossil fuel energy, solar power plants can be brought on-line far more quickly than conventional power plants, and solar power plants are easily scalable, making them the perfect solution to help alleviate South Africa’s constrained power system,” he added.

Collado stated that South Africa is one of the world’s most favourable regions for solar power and SunEdison has every intention of continuing its efforts to assist the government’s REIPPP programme to reach 6.3GW of power projects.

“SunEdison is committed to the local community. Through enterprise development, skills creation, and local procurement, we’re making sure that local people directly benefit from our projects”, Collado added.

REIPPPP round four

On 17 April 2015, South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson officially announced the winning preferred bidders in round four of the REIPPPP in Cape Town.

The Department of Energy (DoE) issued confirmation letters to 13 preferred bidders on Friday the week before.

Once these 13 projects reach completion, they will add an additional 1,121MW to South Africa’s electricity grid.

Joemat-Pettersson said: “This brings the total of 79 projects approved by the Department of Energy with a capacity of 5,243MW across all Renewable Energy Bid Windows. This represents a massive investment of ZAR168 billion in economic infrastructures in our country, which will contribute to economic growth and job creation, in addition to the contribution it makes to security of electricity supply.”

In addition to the Droogfontein 2 solar project, four others were allocated out of the 13 to solar pv power projects:

  • 75MW Sirius Solar PV Project One
  • 75MW Dyason’s Klip 1
  • 75MW Dyason’s Klip 2
  • 75MW Konkoonsies II Solar Facility
  • 40MW Aggeneys Solar Project