The first consignment of 16 turbines from Suzlon's plant in India, destined for Cookhouse Wind Farm, began to arrive at the deepwater port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape early last month. Presently, Ngqura is the only port suitable for receiving wind turbine blades which, in the case of Cookhouse, are 44 meters in length. Other components, including tower sections, gears and generators will arrive during the coming months as the construction on the wind farm site progresses. Major works have already begun with some of the wind turbine foundations having been excavated.
Articles in Category: News & Opinion
Wind & Solar Projects Breaking Ground
The first two months of 2013 have seen construction begin on a number of solar power plants and wind farms as the implementation phase of the South African Government’s flagship Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme kicks into gear.
Both BusinessDay and the Mail & Guardian reported from the Africa Energy Indaba earlier today that eight wind power and 18 solar power projects had already broken ground. These projects are all part of window 1 of the five window REIPPP programme.
Preferred bidders from the second of five rounds of the Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) were announced earlier this week. As with the first round, wind and solar technology dominated with 9 projects totalling 417.1 MW for solar PV and 7 projects totalling 562.5 MW for wind. In addition, 2 small hydro projects totalling 14.3 MW and 1 CSP project totalling 50 MW were also given preferred bidder status. The 19 projects together represent 1 043.9 MW of a total of 1 225 MW allocated for the second round.
In the first round of the competitive bidding process concluded in late 2011, 28 projects were given preferred bidder status amounting to 634 MW of wind (8 projects), 150 MW of CSP (2 projects) and 631.5 MW of solar PV (18 projects). The deadline for these projects to achieve financial closure is June of this year, and the Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters, urged those who were facing challenges in meeting this deadline to communicate with her department as soon as possible.
The Department will also request proposals for smaller-scale renewable energy projects with capacities of below 5 MW in the coming weeks. As yet, none of the 12.5 MW each for biomass and biogas available to bidders has been allocated to any projects and the smaller threshold will pave the way for bids involving cogeneration from the sugar and paper industry, biogas, landfill gas and other small hydro plants.
The REIPPP targets the procurement of 3 725 MW of power to be generated from renewable energy by 2015. So far, bidding windows one and two constitute 2 459.4 MW of this target.