NERSA’s public hearing for ib vogt’s controversial REIPPPP BW 6 140MW Ngonyama Solar Project cancelled

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  • On 20 March 2023, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy published an updated list of preferred bidders in REIPPPP Bid Window 6 (Additional) without a formal press release. Read more
  • The updated list included the Ngonyama Solar PV project (140MW) as a 6th preferred bidder.
  • The Ngonyama project is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) bought by german independent power producer ib vogt and the full allocation of shares in the SPV were transferred to them last year.
  • According to CIPC records,  the two directors of the company are Sachin Jaichund Thakurpersad and Sefakor Agbesi, both are employed by ib vogt.

The Ngonyama project was previously part of the “29 Solar Development” cluster. According to the CSIR, who were commissioned to do the environmental impact assessment (EIA) in 2015, 29 Solar (Pty) Ltd (Reg. No. 2015/002969/07) proposed to construct and operate five 100 megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities and associated electrical infrastructure over nine farms close to Dealesville, in the Free State province.

Related news: South Africa’s REIPPPP is in tatters while energy crisis deepens, Mantashe must be held accountable

The five projects and associated infrastructure are collectively referred to as the 29 Solar Dealesville Development and is situated approximately 50 km south-east of Boshof and approximately 70 km north-east of Bloemfontein. The five proposed PV facilities and associated electrical infrastructure were granted Environmental Authorisation by the National Department of Environmental Affairs On 05 September 2016.

It is unknown how the project has been morphed downed to 240MW capacity and now 140MW. Further controversy regarding the project involves unanswered questions around local ownership, BBBEE partners,  EIA approval (which stretches beyond the 5 years validity period) and the higher than usual tariff accepted by the IPP Office/DMRE.

South Africa’s energy regulator, NERSA, has not provided a reason for the cancellation of a public hearing for the Ngonyama Solar project which was scheduled for 31 May 2023 (tomorrow).  

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


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