- ESERA has announced 3 companies as preferred bidders for a total of 45 MW AC solar PV capacity in Eswatini
- This includes Globeleq for 2 projects of 15 MW AC each, which the company claims it will develop in consortium with Sturdee Energy Southern Africa
- Africa Clean Energy Development of South Africa has also been selected for a 15 MW AC project as preferred bidder under an optional bid
The African nation of Eswatini, previously Swaziland, has accorded preferred bidder status to 3 companies for 3×15 MW solar power projects through the Eswatini Energy Regulatory Authority (ESERA), under the country’s 1st tranche of procurement program for new generation capacity.
According to a notice issued by the agency on April 14, 2021, ESERA has selected Globeleq Africa Holdings Limited of UK to develop 2 projects— Balekane and Ngwenya of 15 MW AC capacity each.
In a statement released to the media, independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq said it has secured the preferred bidder status for the 2 projects alongwith its consortium partner, a Sub-Saharan Africa focused IPP Sturdee Energy Southern Africa.
According to Globeleq, the tender was originally launched in March 2020 and bids were accepted till November 2020. These 2 projects will be located on private land in North Western Eswatini’s Hhohho region. On completion, the project partners will grid connect the projects to the Eswatini Electricity Company (EEC) transmission system. The latter will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the projects.
“As the first utility scale renewable IPPs in Eswatini, these projects will help stabilise the cost of electricity supply and increase the country’s energy resilience, acting as a strong driver for growth and playing a part in the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Globeleq’s Chief Development Officer Jonathan Hoffman.
According to ESERA’s notice, it has also selected African Clean Energy Development of South Africa as an optional bidder for 15 MW Ngwenya solar project.
These companies beat projects offered to be built by other contenders as Innovent SAS, and French-Eswatini companies Voltalia-Semane Consortium.
ESERA’s notice stated, “Award of the contract is subject to any conditions that may be imposed by ESERA in accordance with the above cited tender.”
ESERA wants to develop local renewable energy projects as it looks to reduce its heavy dependence on South Africa’s Eskom to meet its electricity demand, and source clean energy, while mobilizing private sector participation.
In October 2019, it pre-qualified 13 companies for a 40 MW solar PV tender (see 13 Names Pre-Qualify For Eswatini 40 MW Tender).
In November 2020, the Eswatini Civil Aviation Authority (ESWACAA) launched a tender for 850 kW ground mounted PV system with option for energy storage for King Mswati III International Airport (see Eswatini Wants Solar Power For International Airport).