South Africa: SunEdison wins solar contracts worth 371 MW, juwi working on 86 MW project

Under the South African Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy (DOE) IPP Procurement (REIPPP) Programme, SunEdison has been awarded the right to develop 371 MW of solar PV across five projects. The allocation was made under the DOE’s fourth bidding round, which extended available solar capacity.

The five projects will be built in South Africa’s Northern Cape and North West Provinces. National utility, Eskom will purchase the generated power under a 20 year PPA. No more project details were available.

Under the fourth REIPPP round, SunEdison was also awarded an 86 MW project. In total, it has built and is operating 130 MW of PV plants in South Africa.

In related news, German-based juwi has said construction on its 86 MW Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska PV park is underway via its South African branch, juwi Renewable Energies Pty ltd. Work is expected to be completed by next summer; when complete, it will represent the company’s largest solar project. The utility-scale project was awarded under the third bidding round of South Africa’s REIPPP.

"Of all six projects in bidding round three, the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska PV solar park had the highest economic development score. juwi will also provide Operations and Maintenance services for the plant," said the company in a statement released.

Juwi has realized four other utility-scale PV projects in the country.

Solar takeoff

Figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance calculate the solar capacity installed since the inception of REIPPPP as 1.03 GW, with a further 1.03 GW having finance or being under construction.

According to the Pretoria-based Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the price of a PV system in South Africa has fallen from ZAR 5/kWh ($0.42/kWh) to less than ZAR 1/kWh ($0.08/kWh) in the past five years. Despite this, Eskom is said to charge much more than that.

pv magazine reported on REIPPPP in its March edition.