South Africa picks six preferred bidders for 450 MW of solar

South Africa’s Department of Energy on Tuesday said it had selected 17 preferred bidders in the third round of the country¬ís Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPPP) for a total of 1.47 GW awarded capacity.

Among those selected are six bidders for 450 MW of solar PV projects. In addition, the Energy Department chose seven preferred bidders for 787 MW of onshore wind projects; two bidders for concentrated solar projects totaling 200 MW; and one each for biomass (16.5 MW) and landfill gas (18 MW).

The Energy Department said the minister of energy and the department’s director-general were not currently available to address the press on the outcome of the procurement process, but added that they would provide a detailed announcement on the preferred bidders in due course.

The department added that due to the large number of very competitive bid responses submitted for the third round, it may appoint additional preferred bidders. Officials are expected to make a final decision on the selection of further bidders by Nov. 20.

Launched in 2011, South Africa’s REIPPPP initially set a target of 3,725 MW of renewable energy by 2016, but this was revised upwards in 2012 to 6,925 MW by 2020.

In September, South Africa’s first REIPPPP project went online when European PV specialist Scatec Solar connected a 75 MW solar plant to the country’s grid three months ahead of schedule.