South Africa Invites Bids to Develop 5 GW of Wind and Solar Projects

The last day to submit the bids is April 30, 2024


South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has invited bids under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (Phase-VII) to develop 1.8 GW solar and 3.2 GW wind projects in the country.

The last day to submit the bids is April 30, 2024. Bids will be opened on May 3.

Bidders must submit a non-refundable fee of R25,000 (~$1,351) per project.

Bidders should note the available grid capacity in the supply areas per the 2025 generation connection capacity assessment of the transmission network.

Bidders must apply for cost estimate letters (CEL) at least 90 days before bid submission to ensure timely processing. This timeframe allows Eskom, the South African electricity public utility, sufficient time to handle all CEL applications within 90 days.

In response to the country’s energy challenges, the qualification criteria prioritize fully developed projects that can be constructed and connected to the national grid within 24 months post-commercial close.

Beyond providing energy output, the program includes providing and paying for ancillary services. These services intend to support the buyer’s reliable and secure transmission system operation, acting through its system operator.

This bid aligns with the Third Ministerial Determination, concurred by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa in December 2022. The goal was to procure a total of 14,771 MW of new generation capacity, comprising 3,940 MW of solar, 9,600 MW of wind, and 1,231 MW of battery energy storage capacity.

A World Meteorological Organization report last year said that despite Africa being home to 60% of the world’s best solar resources, the continent has only 1% of installed photovoltaic capacity.

The International Renewable Energy Agency called for a calibrated policy framework centered on renewable energy to help resolve many of Africa’s social, economic, health, and environmental challenges. It said the transition can help the region with a 6.4% higher gross domestic product, 3.5% higher economy-wide jobs, and 25.4% higher welfare index by 2050 than under the current system.