South Africa's Eskom to auction land for renewables at CPPs

Noupoort Wind Farm, South Africa. Source: Mainstream Renewable Power. License: All Rights Reserved

December 17 (Renewables Now) - South African utility Eskom Holdings SOC is ready to provide company-owned land to private investors for the development of renewable energy projects with individual capacities of up to 100 MW.

The company said on Wednesday that it has launched an auction process to for land at its coal-fired power plants (CPPs). Initially, Eskom will offer land in Mpumalanga province to the private sector so that renewables can be developed either for own consumption or for sale to third parties.

Leases will be awarded in a competitive bidding process for a minimum period of 20 years, during which Eskom will continue to own the land. It will provide connection to the nearest network connection point.

“The bidding criteria will favour generators for size and speed of delivery – thus quickest delivery of the most megawatts to the grid in order to help relieve the constraints on the power system,” commented group CEO Andre de Ruyter.

Eskom has decided to make this move as its constrained financial situation makes it too expensive to access capital. At the same time, it needs to quickly add new capacity to the electricity system and independent power producers (IPPs) can help. The opportunity was provided by the amendment to Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act of 2006, gazetted by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in August 2021.

“Resolving the energy supply shortfall and reducing the risk of load shedding is our single most important objective in reviving economic growth,” South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa said when introducing the amendment in June.

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