Sixty-three PV projects to compete in South Africa’s 2.6 GW renewables tender


South Africa's Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has published the list of bidders for the fifth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).

According to the document, 39 wind projects and 63 solar projects will compete in the tender, through which the South African authorities hope to allocate 2.6 GW of renewable energy capacity.

“The fact that over 100 projects were submitted for 1 GW of solar PV, and 1.6 GW of wind, shows developers are still very interested in South Africa's renewable energy market, despite delays during previous rounds,” Chris Ahlfeldt, energy specialist at Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services, told pv magazine.

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He also explained that, while 62% of the projects proposed would use solar PV technology, Eskom's transmission constraints for new generation capacity in the Northern Cape province suggest that successful solar PV bids will likely need to target locations in one of the other eight provinces in the country, unlike in previous REIPPPP rounds, where most of the solar PV capacity was in the Northern Cape as it has some of the best solar resources in the country.

“The grid constraints will likely have some positive outcomes as a distribution of projects across other provinces will likely lead to more distributed socioeconomic development benefits for the country,” Ahlfeldt further explained. “For projects that aren't selected as part of the Round 5, there is still potential for them to go ahead, given the recent change to regulations which allows for projects up to 100 MW to be developed in the country without a license.”

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