The South African Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy has announced the results of the fifth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Off Grid Solar Pv System Power Generation Procurement Program (REIPPPP).
Overall, the South African authorities allocated 2,583MW of renewable energy installed capacity in 25 projects, ranging from 75 to 140MW.
The lowest bid for this round of procurement activities is South African Rand 0.34425 (US$0.02279), and the project is a 124MW wind power facility planned to be built in Hantam in the Northern Cape Province. As for solar energy technology, the lowest price is 0.37479 South African Rand (US$0.02481), which is expected to be built in Tokologo's six 75MW solar parks in Lejweleputswa, Free State Province.
"The average electricity price for these solar photovoltaic projects is $0.029/kWh, which is about 13% lower than the average of the 12 wind farms, although the average scale of each project is smaller," said Chris Ahlfeldt, an energy expert at Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services "Photovoltaics" magazine, "If Eskom does not need to deal with the transmission restrictions in the Northern Cape, the average price of solar photovoltaic will be lower."
According to Ahlfeldt, only two of the fifth round of solar photovoltaic projects will be built in the Northern Cape, while the rest will be distributed in other provinces across the country. He also revealed, “As South Africa is still in the stage of economic recovery after the new crown epidemic, it needs to create local jobs and promote economic development. Therefore, how these project plans will achieve the socio-economic impact goals is worthy of attention.”
The Ministry has initially pre-selected 39 wind energy projects and 63 solar energy projects into bidding.
Norwegian developer Scatec revealed in a press release that it allocated 273 MW of photovoltaic installed capacity in this round of procurement activities. "Scatec will own 51% of these projects. Our local'black economic revitalization' partner H1 Holdings owns 46.5%, and another community trust fund owns 2.5%. Financial settlement is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022 and in 2023. Grid connection and commercial operation will be achieved by the end of the year," the company said, but did not provide more details.
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