With a combined capacity of over 9,600 MW, a total 56 wind and solar projects have been submitted under the Sixth Bid Window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement (REIPPP) program.
The bids, which were received by the southern African country’s Independent Power Producers (IPP) Office, are comprised of 23 proposed wind projects, which will have a combined capacity of more than 4,100 MW, and 33 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, which will entail a capacity of 5,500 MW, and will be split across five of South Africa’s provinces.
The suggested wind farms will range in size from between 80 MW and 140 MW, while the solar farms will range from between 75 MW and 240 MW. South Africa’s Western Cape Province has received 24 bids, the Free State has received 11, the North West Province has received eight, while the Northern and Eastern Cape Provinces have received six bids each, with the Limpopo Province receiving one.
“We look forward to the government accelerating the process to bring these projects into the energy mix,” stated Niveshen Govender, CEO for the South African Wind Energy Association, adding, “However, looking at the geographic spread of the projects we have concerns around grid capacity to connect these projects to the already constrained Cape region.”
In September, South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy increased the capacity allocation for Bid Window Six to from 1,000 MW to 3,200 MW, while the allocated capacity for solar PV energy remained at 1,000 MW.
Following a closing date for bids on 3 October, formal assessment of the bids was conducted by the IPP Office evaluation committee on 5 October and is expected to take approximately six to eight weeks, after which the bid announcements will be made following government approvals.