Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi reports that, as at the end of July, the combined installed generation capacity of renewable-energy independent power producers (IPPs) stood at more than 3 200 MW across 58 sites.
In a reply to a Parliamentary question posed by Economic Freedom Fighters MP Mzingisi Dlamini the Minister said 27 of these operating IPPs were based in the Northern Cape, 13 in the Eastern Cape and nine in the Western Cape.
Thirty-three IPPs produce electricity using solar photovoltaic (PV) generation technology, while 18 produce electricity using wind turbines. There are also four operating concentrated solar power IPPs, two small-scale hydro sites and once landfill gas IPP.
In total, all the IPPs had generated slightly under 18 000 GWh of energy by the end of July, with the wind farms generating 9 161 GWh and the solar PV sites 7 726 GWh.
The Minister’s snapshot of renewables generation was provided against a backdrop of ongoing delays in introducing new renewable-energy projects, owing to Eskom’s refusal to sign power purchase agreements for solar PV and wind projects procured through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) in 2015.
However, in a separate response Kubayi confirmed that government remained committed to ensuring that the contracts for REIPPPP bid windows 3.5 and 4 were signed by the end of October 2017.
On September 1, she announced Eskom would be expected to sign PPAs for 26 outstanding renewable-energy IPP projects on the proviso that the projects met a 77c/kWh tariff cap, regardless of the generation technology involved.
She also announced a moratorium on all future procurement rounds until the finalisation of the long-awaited update to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
The Minister said public consultation on the IRP had been concluded and that a process was under way to finalise the policy document. The target date of February 2018 was also reaffirmed for promulgation of the IRP.