Energy Minister, Jeff Radebe, has finally signed the 27 outstanding power purchase agreement (PPA) projects totalling R56bn in round 3.5 and 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
REIPPPP has been hailed as a world-class renewables auction programme, before it was stalled for the last two-and-a-half years, which put immense pressure on South Africa’s renewables sector, hindering its growth and subsequent investment injection in the region.
The new projects, which include 15 wind and solar plants in the Northern Cape, and four wind farms in the Eastern Cape, will contribute 2,300MW into the country’s power grid, and create 58,000 new jobs.
Landmark moment for communities
Pele Green Energy (PGE) was one of the successful bidders in round 3.5 and 4 projects totalling 620MW, and the conclusion of the agreements takes the company’s total project portfolio to 884MW.
The BEE company has already completed a 100MW concentrated solar photovoltaic (CSP) power plant in Postmasburg, Northern Cape, and four wind farms, two producing 140MW and 100MW respectively in the Northern Cape and the other two, each producing 140MW, in the Eastern Cape.
“The signature of the PPAs is a landmark moment for the communities that will host the renewable energy power plants. It means that they will receive new opportunities for employment, enterprise development and broader socioeconomic advancement,” says Fumani Mthembi, MD of Knowledge Pele, the research, development and social investment subsidiary of the Pele Energy Group.
“The renewables sector is on the cusp of meaningful growth, as the globe focuses on the future of energy and relies less on fossil fuels. Today’s signing of the outstanding PPAs is a very positive move towards the important growth of renewables in South Africa. Getting these projects off the ground will pave the way for South Africa to fulfil its potential of being a true leader in large scale clean energy deployment.
“Having been active in the REIPPPP since its inception, supporting over 25 projects across the country, we’re really looking forward to seeing how advancements in technology and improved project outcomes contribute to further enhancing the current potential of these projects and supporting the overall growth of the industry,” says Hebren James, country director, South Africa at K2 Management.
According to the World Economic Forum, renewable energy attributes to one fifth of the electricity generated across the globe. The anticipated publication of South Africa’s updated Integrated Resource Plan will provide greater certainty for the direction of the energy market in South Africa into the future and how the country intends to meet its future power needs.