In line with the recent call for additional energy from existing Independent Power Producers (IPPs) by Eskom, the South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has noted that the programme launched in June 2021 to purchase additional capacity, may be reinvigorated.
In 2020, SAWEA estimated a possible 120 MW of additional capacity from renewable energy IPPs, across both wind and solar PV that could potentially be provided to the grid. This was followed by an announcement in June 2021, with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) launching the ‘Additional Megawatt Programme’, which would see the Department entering into agreements with existing renewables IPPs to procure additional energy that wind and solar farms could supply, over and above what is currently allowed under their existing Power Purchase Agreements.
However, the Association has pointed out, the success of this ‘Additional Megawatt Programme’ has been limited due to the arduous legal, regulatory, technical and contractual processes, which saw many of the IPPs reluctantly abstain.
“Right now, it seems that this programme is being reinvigorating, with Eskom’s standard offer programme, announced this week, which requires more streamlined processes to work much quicker,” said Niveshen Govender.
He continued, saying, “As we understand, the programme will apply to IPPs beyond renewable energy, in order to secure the desired 1000 MW.”
Given the country's energy challenges, the wind energy sector IPPs are already investigating ways to contribute through the Eskom programme. This requires the IPPs to re-evaluate the additional capacity available by each of the power plants individually, with each party responding accordingly.
“The wind sector continues to support Eskom on its path to energy security and will continue to contribute as best as we can,” concluded Govender.