The schedule and capacity allocation for the third bid window under South Africa’s R100-billion Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) would be confirmed “soon”, notwithstanding the delay to the finalisation of the 28 window-one projects.
Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday funding had been the key challenge in advancing the projects, which collectively represent about 1 415 MW, to financial closure. The initial closure date has been set as June 19.
Any capacity not absorbed by the bidders would be added into the third bidding round, or any subsequent tenders that could emerge.
Through the REIPPP, the Department of Energy aimed to procure 3 725 MW of capacity, which could be introduced into South Africa’s power generation mix between 2014 and 2016.
During the first two bid windows, 47 onshore, wind, solar photovoltaic and concentrate solar projects advanced to the preferred-bidder stage – the projects represented potential capacity of 2 459.4 MW.
Speaking at a renewables energy event organised by the Indian High Commission, in Johannesburg, Peters said work was also progressing on the REIPPP’s 100 MW small project tender, which would seek bids from developers of projects of between 1 MW and 5 MW in size.
Also advancing was the feasibility study for the 5 000 MW Solar Park concept, in the Northern Cape.
“We are finalising the park design,” she said, indicating that the park could offer an all-encompassing power purchase agreement in a bid to accelerate project development.