On Monday, South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson committed to the provision of an additional 1,500MW in generation capacity. This through a new solar power procurement project, which will be located in the Northern Cape Province.
Joemat-Pettersson stressed that this is a legacy project for the South African International Renewable Energy Conference (SAIREC).
“This is a legacy which we [the Department of Energy] want to give to REN21 [Renewable Energy Policy Network of the 21st Century] so that the SAIREC conference will be remembered for the rest of our lives.”
The minister said that research and development of the project has been underway for the past year in conjunction with the Central Energy Fund.
A feasibility study has been completed and they are in the process of the environmental impact assessment and are in a position to present the project to Cabinet. However, as Cabinet has to give the final go-ahead, the commissioning dates could not be disclosed.
Small Projects Independent Power Producer Programme
This project follows Joemat-Pettersson’s announcement on Sunday of ten preferred bidders in the Small Projects Independent Power Producer Programme (SPIPPP).
The SPIPPP is an initiative designed to support small projects between 1MW and 5MW in gaining the necessary experience in project development and fundraising.
The ten winners include:
- Adams Solar PV Project (Pty) Ltd
- Bellatrix Solar PV Project
- Du Plessis Solar PV4
- Steynsrus PV2
- Heuningspruit PV1
- Steynsrus PV1
- Klawer Wind Farm
- Hopefield Community Wind Farm
- George Small Scale Biomass to Energy
- Busby Renewables (Biomass)
Going beyond the border
Joemat-Pettersson said: “The IPP [Independent Power Procurement] office is a success story that we would like to duplicate in other countries.”
She followed by saying that the current IPP model is coming to an end in October. Thus the reshaping of the office has started and will implement a larger mandate, which will eventually extend to encompass the continent.
Joemat-Pettersson attributed the programme’s success to having pooled a “sound and solid”group of skills, which has allowed the Department of Energy to work effectively and efficiently and meet their time targets.
In addition, Joemat-Pettersson said that the policy certainty around the programme as well as the integration with other demands has allowed this programme to be sustainable.
“We must build on the success of this innovation, but look at transferring skills and technologies,” she said.