South Africa’s Round 5 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) is currently underway as over 100 projects were submitted for 1GW of solar PV and 1.6 GW of wind on August 16, 2021. This large number of project proposals shows developers are still very interested in South Africa’s renewable energy market despite delays during previous rounds.
While 62% of the projects proposed would use solar PV technology, Eskom’s transmission constraints for new generation capacity in the Northern Cape province suggest that successful solar PV bids will likely need to target locations in one of the other 8 provinces in the country, unlike previous REIPPPP rounds where most of the solar PV capacity was in the Northern Cape as it has some of the best solar resources in the country. The grid constraints will likely have some positive outcomes as a distribution of projects across other provinces will likely lead to more distributed socio-economic development benefits for the country. For projects that aren’t selected as part of the Round 5, there is still potential for them to go ahead given the recent change to regulations which allows for projects up to 100 MW to be developed in the country without a license. The DMRE announced plans to select the preferred bidders for Round 5 within the next couple months.
I recently shared more feedback on this topic with PV Magazine so click here to read more.