The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has confirmed that it has committed R6.2-billion for 11 of the 28 renewable-energy projects that progressed through the first bidding round under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
The DBSA-funded projects represented 748 MW of the 1 415 MW being procured from the first-round solar and wind developers.
The State-owned bank has also confirmed that R1-billion of the funding will be directed towards black economic-empowerment (BEE) schemes associated with the projects.
Group executive TP Nchocho reports that the BEE funding will facilitate the participation of local community trusts, education trusts, a communal property owners association, two small engineering companies, and established BEE companies in the REIPPP projects.
“This we have done through financing their equity stakes,” Nchocho said, adding that the two small engineering companies will also participate in engineering work associated with the projects.
The South African government, Eskom and the independent power producers signed the power purchase, implementation and direct agreements on November 5 for projects collectively representing an investment value of around R47-billion.
Under the REIPPP, government initially planned to procure 3 725 MW of renewables capacity by 2016. But the REIPPP will be converted into a rolling programme, with an additional 3 200 MW to be procured by 2020.
Following two bidding rounds a total of 47 projects were named as preferred bidders. The first 28 have moved towards financial closure and the next 19 are expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.
The third bid window, meanwhile, is due to close on May 7, 2013.