October 20, 2017

Power producers to contribute 7000MW to South Africa’s grid

The contribution of independent power producers under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP) in South Africa is expected to grow to about 7,000MW, according to South Africa’s energy minister, Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Tabling her department’s Budget Vote in Parliament, Joemat-Pettersson said: “The energy contribution of independent power producers is expected to grow to approximately 7,000MW with the first 47 renewable energy independent power producers fully operational by mid-2016. Private investment in the programme currently exceeds R194bn.” She called the programme “one of the world’s most progressive and successful alternative energy programmes”.

Since their introduction, solar, wind, biomass, small hydro and landfill gas power plants have been going up across the country, feeding increasing numbers of clean energy into the national grid. As at December 2015, the department had procured 6,377MW of renewable energy and has already connected 44 projects with a capacity of 2,021MW to the national grid, with many more under construction.

 Meanwhile, bids in terms of the Bid Window 4 Expedited Round, totalling an additional 1800MW are currently under evaluation with the department set to announce preferred bidders in the second quarter of the financial year.

 Bid Window 4, including the investments made though the small projects programme, will increase the investment amount to more than R255bn, the Minister said.

The department also remains on track to meet the national commitment to transition to a low carbon economy with the target of 17,800MW of renewable energy power by 2030.

“The current renewable energy operational portfolio is contributing an increasing percentage of the buffer between the available supply and projected demand for electricity.”

The department has procured private peaker stations to the capacity of nearly 1000MW that can be used when there is a larger demand than what the Eskom generators can produce.

 The Avon plant in Eastern Cape, which was completed in September 2015, can produce 330MW, while the Dedisa plant in KwaZulu-Natal, when completed by the end of 2016 will produce 630MW. Total projects costs were R8bn, while 210 permanent jobs and 6190 temporary jobs were created at both plants.

Information credits: adapted from bizcommunity mining and energy news

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