South Africa's minister of mineral resources and energy, Gwede Mantashe, has launched yesterday the long-expected fifth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).
I am pleased to announce the first bidding round in response to the Section 34 Determination. The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the procurement of 2 600 megawatts under the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme Bid Window 5 will be released to the market at Midnight today.
— Gwede Mantashe (@GwedeMantashe1) March 18, 2021
“It’s encouraging to see movement again on Round 5 of the REIPPPP, which intends to procure 1 GW of utility-scale solar PV and 1.6 GW of wind,” Chris Ahlfeldt, an energy specialist at Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services, told pv magazine. “Bidding documents will provide more detail on new criteria for socio-economic development in Round 5.”
The fifth round of the program was originally planned for 2018 and was then delayed several times due to the difficult financial situation of the country's state-owned utility Eskom and a renegotiation of the PPA contracts initially awarded in the fourth round.
The new procurement exercise is part of a plan to tender almost 12 GW of power generation capacity and follows the recent publication of South Africa’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), which aims for up to 6 GW of new large-scale solar by 2030 as well as up to 6 GW of distributed-generation capacity.
Meanwhile, South African businesses are resorting to solar and renewables to improve their power supply. These include Arcelormittal, South Africa-based chemicals producer Sasol, and several mining companies.
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