The launch of the bidding process follows the DMRE announcing the department’s preferred bidders following bid window five of the REIPPP at the end of August 2021. While the board of the national utility, Eskom, has approved the move to conclude power purchase agreements with the preferred bidders from bid window five, the DMRE is also working towards the financial close for the projects by the end of April 2022.
Since the launch of the REIPPP in 2011, the South African government has managed to attract sizeable private sector investments to expand the company’s power generation capacity with a number of renewable energy projects such as the 134 MW Amakhala Emoyeni wind farm in Bedford (Eastern Cape province) and the 138 MW Jeffreys Bay wind farm (Eastern Cape province) already feeding into the grid. However, South Africa is facing an increasing number of power outages highlighting the need for the government to accelerate further implementation of the REIPPP.
Having included the REIPPP as part of the National Development Plan of 2019, which aims to ensure sufficient generation capacity by 2030 to meet growing energy demand, the South African government needs to address investment and renewable energy-grid integration constraints that have delayed project rollout in previous windows of the REIPPP to ensure that energy reliability targets are met.