South Africa streamlines 203 MW of wind-solar-storage hybrid projects

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At the end of August, the South African Department of Energy (DoE) signed project agreements for two hybrid wind-solar facilities. The installations will feature battery storage, with generating capacities of 128 MW and 75 MW.

“The projects will have up to December 2023 to finalize conditions precedent to conclude financial close and start with project construction,” the DoE said in a statement. “The new generation capacity is expected to be online from 2025 onwards.”

The South African authorities selected the two projects in a 2 GW technology-neutral tender concluded in March 2021 under the RMIPPPP. This initiative was launched in response to the chronic short-term electricity supply gap affecting the country and its mining sector.

The DoE said that only five of the selected projects have secured project agreements so far.

One of the two projects now approved by the authorities is the Oya Energy Hybrid Facility, which will be built in Matjiesfontein, Western Cape. The project’s main developer and equity shareholders are GDF International SA, G7 Power, Meadows Oya Energy and Perpetua RMI4P Oya.

The second scheme, the Umoyilanga Energy Facility, will be located in Avondale, Northern Cape, and Dassiesridge, Eastern Cape. It is owned and managed by France-based EDF and German investment firm Perpetua Holdings.

The agreements include power purchase agreements (PPA). The sale of the contracts has been regulated by the respective independent power producers (IPP) and Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned electricity supplier.

In 2021, the South African government announced the preferred bidders to secure around 60% of the awarded capacity of the RMIPPPP, with several renewable energy projects including solar, wind and storage. The bidding prices ranged from ZAR 1,468 ($77.40)/MWh to ZAR 1,885/MWh, with the average price at ZAR 1,575/MWh.

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