• South Africa’s Eskom has finally signed PPAs with the winners of bidding rounds 3.5 and 4
  • The 27 renewable energy projects are expected to drive private investment worth 56 billion ZAR ($4.71 billion) and create some 58,000 new jobs
  • Solar power projects will majorly be developed in the Northern Cape and North West Province
  • The government expects procurement of 2.8 million solar modules, 600 inverters and 385 transformers for the projects

The South African government under its new President Cyril Ramaphosa has finally got national utility Eskom to sign the mightily delayed PPAs with the 27 project winners of renewable energy auctions. The signing of the PPAs for the 27 projects awarded during bidding rounds 3.5 and 4 are expected to result in 56 billion ZAR ($4.71 billion) renewable energy investments in the country. All this investment would come from the private sector, with no contribution from the government and is believed to create some 58,000 new jobs.

If everything is built, the projects will translate into 2.3 GW of clean energy generation capacity that needs to be added to the grid over the next 5 years, offsetting 8.1 million tons of CO2 annually. 

Most projects will be located in the Northern Cape and North West Province. While 15 wind, PV and CSP projects are planned in the Norther Cape Province, 4 PV projects are planned in the North West Province. Of the 27 projects, 12 PPAs are for PV projects with a total of 813 MW. To develop these, around 2.8 million solar PV modules need to be procured, along with 600 inverters and 385 transformers.

The projects were awarded under the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). South Africa wants to achieve 20 GW of renewable energy by 2030 as part of its National Development Plan 2030.

Important to note is that the socio-economic conditions and government objectives have changed in South Africa since the start of the procurement process of BW 3.5 and 4 in 2013/14. Although very late in the procurement process, we have challenged our private partners to deliver even more value for money through a request to enhance socio-economic transformation opportunities for black South African participation in their project structures,” said Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe at the signing ceremony.

The government is now considering another bid window for 1.8 GW to drive an investment of 63.4 billion ZAR ($5.33 billion) that would be announced in ‘the near future.’ Radebe said this could contribute to the creation of another 80,000 jobs.

Recently, a South African Court dismissed a petition filed by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Transform RSA NPC to stop the PPAs from being signed (see Decks Cleared For 27 RE PPAs In South Africa).