South African consultant and PV expert Chris Ahlfeldt has explained to pv magazine how the impasse of the outstanding PPAs of round 3.5 and 4 of the country’s REIPPPP program may affect solar PV less than other renewable energy technologies. The PPAs relate to twelve large-scale solar projects totaling 813 MW selected in round 4.
The PPAs are related to 37 utility-scale projects selected in Rounds 3.5 and 4 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The country’s Ministry of Environmental Affairs has simplified the environmental impact assessment process for large-scale solar and wind power projects in South Africa’s eight Renewable Energy Development Zones.
The signing of the PPAs was expected to enable financial closure of several PV and wind power projects being developed under South Africa’s REIPPPP program.
As market participants in South Africa wait for the final results of the country’s fourth round of the successful REIPPP tender program for large-scale solar PV to be announced in early April, this week’s Solar Show Africa, part of the 20th Power & Electricity World Africa 2017 in Johannesburg, showed a growing diversification of solar PV in this leading African market.
The French Development Agency (AFD) has provided South Africa’s power utility Eskom with a ZAR 6 billion ($477.7 million) credit facility. Eskom, which has delayed the development of several large-scale PV projects over the past years due to grid issues, will use the funds to improve its network and integrate more renewable energy power.
The South African solar market registered 509 MW of new PV installations in 2016. The country’s cumulative PV capacity reached 1.47 GW as of the end of December. Meanwhile, the price of solar power has dropped significantly over the past five years.
The South-African investment company has acquired a 51% stake in solar EPC contractor Terra Firma Solutions. The company provides EPC services for rooftop solar projects in sub-Saharan Africa
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