South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has announced the opening of Bidding Window 5 of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). The long-awaited fifth round seeks to procure 1GW of solar photovoltaic and 1.6GW of wind capacity and is expected to significantly contribute to the country’s growing energy needs.
The announcement was made by DMRE Minister, H.E. Gwede Mantashe, on Thursday in which he stated that given the energy challenges the country is facing, the Department’s objective is to get these projects connected to the grid as soon as possible.
“I am pleased to announce the first bidding round in response to the Section 34 Determination,” stated H.E. Gwede Mantashe on Twitter. “The Request for Proposal for the procurement of 2,600MW under the REIPPPP Bid Window 5 will be released to the market at midnight [Thursday].”
Additionally, the minister stated that the department intends to release four more Requests for Proposals within the next 12 months, including 3,000MW from gas, 1,500MW from coal, and 513MW from battery storage in addition to the 2,600MW of renewable energy.
The fifth round is expected to dramatically increase the country’s renewable energy capacity and is seen as a top priority considering South Africa’s increasing electricity challenges. With the first power from these projects expected to be connected to the grid from August 2022, as well as the expected injection of approximately R45 billion into the local economy, South Africa is aggressively working towards energy security and stability.