Small renewables tender within weeks, DoE says

22nd May 2012 By: Terence Creamer - Creamer Media Editor

A request for proposals for small-scaled renewable energy projects, with capacities of below 5 MW, would be released within the coming “few weeks”, South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) has confirmed.

Some 100 MW has been ring-fenced for procurement from such projects under the larger Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) programme, which was officially launched in August 2011, to procure 3 725 MW of renewable capacity.

Speaking at African Utility Week, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday, DoE COO Thandeka Zungu reported that the small-project bidding round is expected to focus on technologies such as cogeneration from biomass, including sugar and paper, biogas, landfill gas, and small hydropower plants.

Hitherto, the REIPPP has been dominated by large-scale solar and onshore wind projects, with a total of 47 preferred bidders having been named during the first two bidding windows.

Overall, the process is expected to attract foreign and domestic direct investment worth about R100-billion.

Zungu also confirms that work is advancing following responses to a recent request for information from developers of potential coal, gas, cogeneration and hydropower projects inside South Africa and within the Southern African region.

The information received will be used to inform a future procurement process.

“Once we have received the information about prospective projects, we will initiate a procurement process to meet the Integrated Resource Plan requirements, based on these projects,” Zungu elaborates.