S Africa's delayed renewable PPAs to be signed on March 13 - minister

Sign at a wind project. Author: Lollie-Pop.

March 8 (Renewables Now) - South Africa's energy minister Jeff Radebe announced on Thursday that the 27 delayed renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPAs) will be signed on March 13.    

The project agreements of the 27 renewable energy independent power producer projects (REIPPP), including the PPAs with grid operator Eskom, will be signed on Tuesday next week, Radebe said. 

The minister acknowledged that the "milestone" comes after a long period of uncertainty. The signing will occur with the full support of the president and the ministers of finance and public enterprises, as well as Eskom, according to the announcement.

Brenda Martin, chief executive of the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA), said the industry is "immensely relieved to receive confirmation" on the matter.

"SAWEA and all its members look forward to resuming a focus on realising the great contribution that wind and renewable power can make to South Africa's social, environmental and economic development," Martin also said.

Eskom in 2016 refused to enter into new deals with 27 independent power producers (IPPs) due to cost issues and excess power generation capacity, causing significant delays in the development of the projects, selected under bid windows 3.5, 4 and 4.5 of the country's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The 27 projects include wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies. 

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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