South Africa’s Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO) which handles the tendering process for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has released the list of project bids for the 5th bid window of the programme. The list contains 102 projects, with 63 of them being solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and 39 onshore wind projects bids.
South Africa’s REIPPP bid window 5 closed on the 16th of August. The tender sought to procure 1 GW of solar PV, and 1,6 GW of wind, bringing the total to 2,6 GW. This is the nation’s first procurement of IPP renewable energy in seven years, with the last procurement round having taken place in 2014.
The list released by the IPP office did not specify the capacity of the projects bid by independent power producers but expectations are that the bids exceed the energy capacity the tender sought. Only a select number of projects are set to be given preferred bidder status.
Based on South Africa’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) released in 2019, the country is set to procure about 4 800 MW of wind, 2 000 MW of solar PV, 1 500 MW of new coal, 3 000 MW of gas and 513 MW of battery storage in the coming three years.
The country is also looking to retire over 12GW of coal energy capacity over the next 10 years. This is part of the country’s decarbonisation plan. The country is under pressure to cut emissions and comply with the Paris Agreement requirements to decarbonise its energy system. Much of the retired coal energy capacity in South Africa will be replaced by renewable energy.
State owned electricity utility Eskom has announced plans to repurpose its old coal power power plants into renewable energy and gas energy plants as part of its “Just Energy Transition” strategy. The utility is seeking about $10 billion (R143 billion) from development finance institutions (DFIs) to shut down most of its coal-fired plants by 2050 and replace them with cleaner energy.
Some of the development finance institutions that Eskom is in discussions with for funding include the African Development Bank, the New Development Bank, Germany’s KFW Development Bank, the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Developpement of France.