Minister calls for more renewable energy projects

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Energy Minister Ben Martins. Photo: GCIS

Johannesburg - The Department of Energy is to add more projects to those announced in November last year in the third window of its renewable energy independent power producers (REIPP) procurement programme.

Minister Ben Martins said yesterday that there would be another procurement process to include other bidders.

Additional capacity would be allocated to the third window as the prices offered by the bidders in this window were more competitive than those in the first two bidding windows.

The winning bidders, which were announced in November last year, are due to sign different agreements, including power purchase agreements with Eskom, no later than the end of July. They are expected to reach their financial close by July 30.

“The inclusion of additional bidders will therefore increase the number of independent power producers (IPPs) contributing towards the Department of Energy’s effort to ensure that renewable energy forms a significant part of the energy mix,” the department said in a statement.

Initially, the department aimed to have 3 725 megawatts of the country’s energy requirement generated from renewable sources under the REIPP programme by 2015.

Martins said submissions for the fourth window of the programme were on track to close this August.

The department is looking to procure 1 000MW in that round and its preferred bidders are expected to be announced on October 28.

Apart from the REIPP programme, the department would procure more electricity from IPPs in the form of cogeneration and coal plants.

He said 800MW of cogeneration would be procured next month, which would be followed by the procurement of 2 500MW of coal generation.

Martins added that the department recognised that the South African economy required additional generation capacity in order to avoid the recurrence of blackouts that Eskom rolled out last month. - Business Report


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