South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has kicked off the sixth round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). It aims to procure 1 GW of PV and 1.6 GW of wind power.

Image: South African Tourism/Flickr

In the sixth round of the REIPPPP, the authorities want to allocate 1 GW of utility-scale solar and 1.6 GW of wind to developers. Interested companies have until April 12 to download the relevant documents to participate in the auction.

The procurement exercise is part of a plan to tender almost 12 GW of capacity and follows the recent publication of South Africa’s new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP aims for up to 6 GW of new large-scale solar by 2030, as well as up to 6 GW of distributed-generation PV capacity.

“With South Africa still dealing with load shedding, economic recovery post-Covid-19, and its Just Transition away from coal to meet climate emission reduction goals, there’s a need to procure these projects quickly and connect them to the grid, Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services’ Chris Ahlfeldt tells pv magazine. “The transmission capacity constraints in the Northern Cape made it difficult for some developers in Round 5, so most will likely target other provinces for Round 6 and has the potential benefit of spreading local socio-economic impacts from the projects to other parts of the country.”

The fifth round of the REIPPPP scheme was launched in March 2021. Overall, the South African authorities allocated 2.6 GW of renewable energy capacity across 25 projects ranging in size from 75 MW to 140 MW.

The procurement exercise’s lowest bid of ZAR 0.34425 ($0.02338) was submitted for a 124 MW wind facility to be built in Hantam, in the Northern Cape region. For solar, the lowest price was ZAR 0.37479, which was offered for six 75 MW solar parks set for construction in Tokologo, an administrative area in the Lejweleputswa District of the Free State region.

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