Govt approves three additional solar power projects

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Aggeneys Solar Project, Northern Cape. Image supplied/ Warren Williams.
Aggeneys Solar Project, Northern Cape. Image supplied/ Warren Williams.

As South Africa is hit by continuous Stage 2 load shedding until Friday, the department of mineral resources and energy has approved three more power sustainable energy projects.  

These independent power producers (IPP) will provide electricity to support Eskom, which is currently battling rotational load shedding due to breakdowns or maintenance at its stations. 

This is on top of the eight preferred IPPs bidders announced in March, who will produce 1 845 MW.

The three new projects are from solar company Scatec, are based in the Northern Cape, and are expected to produce 150 MW, bringing the total power under the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme to 1995.76 MW. The power should be fed into the grid within the next 12 to 18 months.

Last month, the department said that these three projects were considered for approval "subject to them meeting specific value for money conditions". 

The eight other successful bids include a controversial bid from Karpowership, who will supply power through their ships parked at ports in Coega, Richards Bay and Saldanha. A rival bidder, DNG Energy has levelled allegations of corruption. The high court is expected to hear a challenge to the government's decision in July. 

The other bidders are ACWA Power Project, Mulilo Total Coega, Mulilo Total Hydra Storage, Oya Energy Hybrid Facility, and Umoyilanga Energy.

Government set a target of 13 813 MW to be delivered from a mix of energy sources, in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan. 

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