South African Wind Industry Welcomes Three New REIPPPP BW5 Projects But More Work Needs to be Done

  • Responding to yesterday’s signing by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), Mr Gwede Mantashe of the first three wind project agreements under Bid Window 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has issued a statement of support noting that these are the first new renewable projects signed since Bid Window 4 projects, in 2018.

The Association applauded the work done by the DMRE, Independent Power Producers Office (IPPO) and Eskom for working alongside industry, in getting these projects to this point, as well as the preferred bidder partnership, led by EDF Renewables, who weathered global economic and geopolitical effects and still managed to reach this stage.

“At a time that our country is once again overwhelmed by the crippling load shedding, this news has given us hope that some much needed new generation capacity can be expected in the near future.  This signing is surely testament to industry and government’s closer working relationship which is yielding results,” said Niveshen Govender, CEO of SAWEA.

These three wind power projects, namely Coleskop Wind Power, 140MW; San Kraal Wind Power, 140MW; and Phezukomoya Wind Power, 140MW, will contribute a total of 420MW of renewable capacity to the national grid. They collectively represent a total investment amount of circa R 11 billion and provide over 2000 job opportunities. In line with the REIPPP Programme, the projects will support socio-economic transformation throughout the full value chain, further stimulating economic growth.

 “It is important to note that these are only the first  three of twenty-five projects this bid window to reach commercial close, meaning that all regulatory approvals are in place and the bidder is moving toward financial close and construction phase.  The construction timeline is expected to span two years, so the new generation capacity should be online by the end of 2024,” added Govender.

Addressing the importance of bringing the remaining twenty-two projects to commercial close, Govender says that a lot more can and should be done. “All parties are fully aware of the challenges and concerns surrounding the projects and have committed to working together to achieve success, and as an Association, we will leave them to continue with their efforts.”

The President recently outlined the plan to accelerate new generation capacity from renewables, with closing  BW5 being the first step, closely followed by the conclusion of BW6 next month.  Concurrently Eskom has launched a programme to procure all additional capacity that IPPs may be generating.

At the signing, the Minister emphasised the DMRE’s commitment in IRP 2019 to increase renewables by 18% and reduce coal by 15%.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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