South Africa Launches Major Tenders for Renewable, Gas Energy Projects

Government of South Africa Announces Major Renewable Energy and Gas Power Projects, Aiming for Sustainable Electricity Generation

by Adenike Adeodun

In a bold stride towards sustainable energy, the South African government has launched three requests for proposals (RFPs) to enhance its electricity generation capacity. This initiative aims to add 5,000 MW of new wind and solar power, 2,000 MW from gas-to-power projects, and 615 MW/2,460 MWh of battery storage.

The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) is actively seeking bids under the eagerly awaited Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) Bid Window 7 (BW7). The goal is to develop 3,200 MW of wind and 1,800 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) energy by April 30.

According to a report by Mining Weekly, the government has also introduced the Gas Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (GIPPPP), targeting land-based electricity generation. A key feature of this programme is the planned development of 1,000 MW capacity near the Port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape, with bid submissions due by August 30.

The DMRE sets a proactive timeline, aiming to announce preferred bidders three months after receiving bids and achieve financial closure roughly four months following the bidder announcement.

For battery energy storage, the second round of the Battery Energy Storage Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (BESIPPPP) calls for facilities ranging from 77 MW to 153 MW, each with four hours of storage. These facilities, planned near Eskom-selected transmission substations in the Northwest Supply Area, will aim to maintain a minimum annual availability of 95%, offering crucial energy reserves.

This proactive step follows the successful naming of preferred bidders from the first BESIPPPP round, a significant achievement in the Northern Cape with a total capacity of 360 MW/1,440 MWh and an R10-billion investment.

The latest RFPs mark a strategic pivot after the partial success of REIPPPP BW6, which managed to select preferred bidders only for a 1,000 MW solar PV allocation from an anticipated 4,200 MW procurement. This change was necessary due to grid capacity issues previously unaddressed by independent power producers (IPPs) engaged in private power purchase agreements.

Eskom has updated its grid connection policies, transitioning from a ‘first come, first served’ model to a more efficient ‘first ready, first served’ method, and is planning a future shift to a gated process.

The DMRE urges bidders to consider the available grid capacity detailed in Eskom’s 2025 Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) and anticipates an addendum to the GCCA that could expand grid capacity in currently maxed-out areas.

Aligning with the government’s IPP bid strategy, a non-refundable fee of R25,000 is mandatory for each project submission. The department is set to hold bidders’ conferences on January 17 and 18 on an e-platform, offering more insights on the qualifying criteria and expectations for bid submissions.

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