Record 102 Bidders for 2.6 GW South Africa RE Tender

Highlights :

  • The high response indicates how the tide has turned in favour of renewables in South Africa, otherwise a slow convert to renewable.
  • Problems with its distribution firms has been blamed for much of the delays in adopting renewable energy by South Africa.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) of South Africa has received bids from 102 potential project developers, including 63 solar projects, in response to its fifth renewable energy tender.

Launched in March this year, this tender was aimed at procuring 2.6 GW of clean energy projects, including 1 GW of solar PV and 1.6 GW of wind. The tender represents Bid Window 5 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The deadline to submit bids was August 16, 2021. Solar projects up to a maximum size of 75 MW are eligible.

The successful bidders’ list will likely be announced in October or November., with winning bids being required to complete the financial close for their projects by March 2022. Installed projects have to be connected to the grid latest by April 2024.

DMRE has stated in the past that it hopes to attract projects that are fully developed or are nearly ready and that will be able to connect and supply power quickly, without requiring major works in terms of grid integration.

South Africa plans to develop 11.8 GW of new energy capacity from natural gas, renewables, battery storage, and coal-powered facilities to satisfy increasing power demands. Around 2 GW is earmarked for solar energy and 4.8 GW for wind energy, and 500 MW for energy storage.

The REIPPP program is a competitive tender process that was designed to facilitate private sector investment into grid-connected renewable energy generation in South Africa.

Under the REIPPPP program, South Africa plans to issue four more tenders within the next twelve months. Besides the tender for 2.6 GW capacity from renewable energy, tenders are expected to be issued for 3 GW from gas, 1.5 GW from coal, and 513 MW from battery storage.

In addition to the REIPPPP, the government earlier this year revealed the shortlisted bidders for its technology agonistic Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) that will provide a total of 1,995MW of contracted capacity from projects combining technologies such as solar PV, wind, liquified natural gas and battery storage.

The South African government updated its climate plan this year, limiting its annual greenhouse gas emissions to 398-440 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent by 2030. This cuts emissions 28% compared with its 2015 pledge, which capped annual emissions at 614 MtCO2.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.