South Africa receives 63 solar bids in latest renewables procurement round

Scatec’s 258MW Upington project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Image: Scatec.

South Africa’s latest renewables procurement window for 2.6GW of capacity has received bids from 102 potential project developers, including 63 solar projects, according to the country’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE).

Launched earlier this year with the intention of procuring 1GW of solar PV and 1.6GW of wind, the tender represents Bid Window 5 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Bids were allowed to be submitted until 16 August, and solar projects up to a maximum size of 75MW are eligible. Preferred bidders are expected to be announced in October or November, with winning bidders required to reach financial close for their projects by March 2022 and connect the installations to the grid no later than April 2024.

DMRE previously said it hopes to attract projects that are fully developed or are nearly ready and that will be able to connect and supply power quickly, without requiring major works in terms of grid integration.

The bidding round is the first stage of a procurement announced last September for 11,813MW of new generation capacity that will come from a range of sources by 2027.

In addition to the REIPPPP, the government earlier this year revealed the shortlisted bidders for its technology agonistic Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) that will provide a total of 1,995MW of contracted capacity from projects combining technologies such as solar PV, wind, liquified natural gas and battery storage. 

Among the winners was Norwegian independent power producer Scatec, which was awarded 150MW of contracted capacity and will develop three solar-plus-storage installations in the country’s Northern Cape province.