South Africa opens new bidding round for 2.6GW of renewable energy projects

South Africa has officially initiated a new round of bidding for 2.6GW of green energy projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The long-awaited Bid Window Five of the REIPPPP was opened by South Africa’s Minister for the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe on Thursday last week, and will run until August 4.

“The announcement of eight successful bids and the opening of bids for the fifth round of the REIPPPP is a long- awaited step in the right direction,” said Baker McKenzie partner and head of the energy, mining and infrastructure practice in Johannesburg Kieran Whyte.

Mantashe said that the programme will procure 1.6GW of wind energy and 1GW of solar power and announced the eight preferred bidders for the country’s 2GW Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).

The RMIPPPP includes the 128MW Oya Energy hybrid facility, which will comprise wind, solar and energy storage, and the Mulilo Total Hydra Storage plant and Mulilo Total Coega project.

The other preferred bidders are Umoyilanga Energy, ACWA Power Project DAO, Karpowership SA Coega, Karpowership SA Richards Bay and Karpowership SA Saldanha. They must reach financial close by the end of July and first power should be delivered by August 2022.

South African Wind Energy Association chief executive Ntombifuthi Ntuli said: “An advantage of renewable energy hybrid systems lies in their ability to combine two of the fastest growing renewable energy technologies.

“Hybrid systems can also take advantage of the complementary nature of solar PV, which produces power during the day, and wind, which produces most of its power at night.”