South African energy minister Dikobe Ben Martins has confirmed that the government will select additional projects submitted in round three of the renewable energy independent power producers programme (REIPPP) announced last November.
While the size of the extra allocation has not been announced, Martins said the decision was based on the fact that the prices offered by the bidders are competitive and reflect a downward trend compared with prices in the first two rounds.
The average price for wind energy per megawatt hour fell from ZAR 1,143 (EUR 79) in the first round, in 2011, to ZAR 737 (EUR 51) in round three. This is significantly cheaper than the ZAR 1,050/MWh projected for generation from the country’s new coal-fired plant.
Seven wind power projects totalling 787MW were selected last November, on top of 1.2GW in the first two rounds. Martins confirmed a fourth bidding round will take place this summer to procure an additional 1GW of renewable power.
A consortium led by Mainstream Renewables took the lion’s share with 138MW at Khobab, 138MW at Loeriesfontein 2 and 79MW at Noupoort, all in the Northern Cape.
Enel Green Power entered the market with two projects in the Eastern Cape: 110MW at Gibson Bay and 87MW at Nojoli, developed by local companies Red Cap Investments and African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) respectively.
China’s Longyuan Power in partnership with local developer Mulilo Renewable Energy also entered the market with the 139MW De Aar 2 North and 96MW De Aar Maanhaarberg projects in the Northern Cape. Guodian will supply the turbines.