South Africa opens tender for 2.6 GW of wind, solar

Waterloo solar park, South Africa. Image by Juwi.

March 19 (Renewables Now) - South Africa on Thursday announced the launch of a 2.6-GW tender for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity under the fifth round of a nationwide campaign for renewables deployment.

The request for proposals (RfP) was issued by the South African Department of Energy under Bid Window 5 of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme. The tender round will seek to award 1 GW of solar PV and 1.6 GW of wind power projects.

Proposals will be accepted by August 4, 2021.

No exact deadline was set for the commissioning of the winning projects. “Given the energy challenges that we are facing the objective is to get these projects connected to the grid as soon as possible,” the government said.

South Africa has pledged to install 11.8 GW of new capacity from renewables, natural gas, battery storage and coal-fired plants in line with its Integrated Resources Plan that is intended to help the country respond to the growing demand for electricity. Of the planned total, around 4.8 GW will be set aside for wind and 2 GW for solar capacity, while around 500 MW is designated for energy storage.

Bid Window 5 was initially planned to open in 2018 but was delayed several times after state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC went into financial woes, saying it was “struggling to maintain operational sustainability.” The utility is the party with which projects secured in the REIPPPP programme sign power purchase agreements (PPAs).

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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