- , 24 July 2014Read more
With 1.45-million people, representing 11% of South African households, living without electricity and a further 3.6% of households accessing electricity informally*, light is a scarce commodity for many, often disrupting daily life and education due to limited study time.
Energizer® South Africa and USA registered nonprofit, One Million Lights are teaming up to improve the daily lives of children and adults in poor rural villages around the world, by providing clean and healthy lighting.
As the makers of the world’s longest lasting battery, Energizer® South Africa is committed to also making light last longer for a bright and healthy future. The One Million Lights partnership forms part of Energizer’s That’s Positivenergy campaign, a campaign focused on what people can do together to make the world a more positive place.
During July and August 2014, primary school learners in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal will receive 7,000 solar and kinetic lights in areas without electricity.
“This is the first time since the initiative’s inception in 2008 that we are sharing our healthy glow with the people of South Africa”, says Anna Sidana, Founder and CEO of One Million Lights. “We believe that all children should have access to a clean and eco-friendly solution to light, which enables them to study at night and add value to the time they spend with their families.”
The One Million Lights campaign has distributed over 50,000 safe, rechargeable solar lights around the world, replacing dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps. “As a clean, healthy, renewable resource, solar lighting is such a natural fit,” says Rashmi Vadivelu, senior brand manager for Energizer® South Africa. “It is a wonderful opportunity to offer lighting to communities that will ultimately brighten their entire lives by extending study and play time, while eliminating carbon emissions, improving household health, and greatly increasing income savings.”
The campaign aims to ultimately distribute one million solar lights and replace dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps in communities where people are dependent on non-renewable and toxic fuels for their lighting needs.
For more information on One Million Lights, please visit www.onemillionlights.org, www.facebook.com/onemillionlights and http://twitter.com/millionlights.
For more information about Energizer® and its That’s Positivenergy activities, please visit the website at www.energizer.co.za.
* According to Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey (GHS) conducted in 2012.
About One Million Lights
One Million Lights is a USA registered nonprofit with a mission to improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy solar lighting. Its goal is to distribute one million solar lights and replace dangerous and polluting kerosene lamps in communities where people are dependent on non-renewable and toxic fuels for their lighting needs. These solar lights enable children to study at night and adults to extend their workday, all while eliminating carbon emissions, improving household health, and greatly increasing income savings.
As part of the of their That’s Positivenergy campaign and as the makers of the world longest lasting battery, Energizer South Africa have partnered with One Million Lights to make the learning last longer in areas without electricity.
- , 24 July 2014Read more
MTN has reaffirmed its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint by unveiling Africa’s first Concentrating Solar Cooling System that will power its energy-hungry data centres.
The system was designed by REACH Renewable and AOS Consulting Engineers and implemented jointly with Industrial Solar, Voltas Technologies and Luft Technik, and supported by the professional team comprising of ISF Services, Classen Auret, Project Works, DSM and Pentad. It is driven by a cutting-edge technology called Linear Fresnel Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) that uses heat generated from the sun and has a peak cooling capacity of 330 kW.
The system consists of 242 solar mirrors covering a total area of 484 square metres, which track the sun to generate pressurised hot water at 180 degrees Celsius. The hot water in turn powers an absorption chiller that produces chilled water circulated into the data centre for cooling of IT equipment.
The mirrors follow the movement of the sun, based on the GPS location, orientation and the date and time. This information guides the system to track the sun to concentrate on the central absorber tube where heat is generated.
The absorption chillers use a lithium bromide water solution which uses water as the refrigerant. This is a completely green solution that has zero global warming potential (GWP=0) and no ozone depletion potential (ODP=0). When it rains, the mirrors move into a self-cleaning position, and on cloudy days, the mirrors turn down into a protective stow position.
Zunaid Bulbulia, MTN South Africa Chief Executive Officer, says the CSP system cements MTN’s green credentials. MTN was awarded the first Silver Certified building in South Africa under the EBOM technical manual by United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) in recognition of its sustainability efforts in all the operational efforts and commitment at the MTN head office building.
“MTN is acutely aware of the impact of global warming and its adverse impact on emerging markets including South Africa. We continuously explore ways in which we can not only reduce our carbon footprint, but it will substantially reduce our electricity consumption which will release additional capacity for the national grid,” says Bulbulia.
Some numbers ...
- Peak Cooling Capacity: 330kW
- Number of Mirrors: 242
- Mirror Area: 484 square metres
- Operating Pressure: 16bar
- Annual Gross Heat Production: 391MWh
- Chiller Cooling Capacity: 330kW
- Type of Chiller: Double-Effect Hot Water
- Hot Water Temperature: 180°C->160°C
- Hot Water Flow Rate: 10m 3 /h
- Chiller Operational Weight: 6.9 tons
- Chiller Electrical Consumption: 3.2kW
- Staff Writer, 09 July 2014[Corporate PR]Read more
Driving along the N2 in the Eastern Cape it is impossible to miss Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s magnificent wind turbines standing proud as part of the country’s largest operational wind farm. Wednesday, 9 July 2014 saw the inauguration of this project, marking the completion of a six year journey through development, financing, construction and finally into operations. The 138MW power plant is a product of the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme and will supply enough clean renewable electrical energy to meet the needs of over 100 000 average South African households.
“In a country struggling to meet its escalating demands for electricity we are proud to be contributing around 460 000 megawatt hours (MWh) per year of electrical energy to the national grid,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm. He continued saying, “It’s remarkable to consider that by the end of this year the country will have more than 400 turbines reaching into the sky, all helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels and precious water in meeting the country’s energy requirements.”
Over the next 20 years, the local communities living within a 50km radius of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will benefit from a range of socio-economic development programmes. These programmes will focus on early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme; numeracy and literacy interventions at primary school level; mathematics and science programmes at secondary schooling level; and scholarships for engineering-related studies at tertiary level. The company will also establish an enterprise development programme that will initially focus on supporting emerging black farmers in the area.
The Amandla Omoya Community Trust, which owns 6% of the project, will run further developmental programmes to benefit the local community. “It is vital that renewable power brings positive benefits to local communities” added Pickering. “Wind farms across the country, both operational or currently under construction, will invest over R5 billion of their revenue into socio-economic and enterprise development initiatives over the next two decades. They will also create substantial employment opportunities, training and skills transfers. All of which are essential for the future of both the industry and the country”.
“Our Project has received resounding support from the Kouga Municipality and the surrounding communities. For this we are most grateful and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” concluded Pickering.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm milestones:
- Construction Commenced: December 2012
- Transportation of the first Turbine Component: 22 July 2013
- First Turbine Erected: 26 September 2013
- All 60 Turbines Erected: 27 February 2013
- Supply Power to Eskom Grid: 20 December 2013
- 1 Million Man Hours Worked without Lost-Time-Incident: 27 December 2014
- 1,265,065 Man Hours Worked without Lost-Time-Incident: 31 April 2014
- Total Jobs Created: At the peak of construction, there were 602 people working on site, 45% of which were from the local communities in the Kouga Municipality.
- Transportation programme completed: 19 February 2014 – having covered over 110 000km
- Fully Commissioned: April 2014
- Commercial Operations Date: 15 May 2014
Some video scenes of the wind farm on inauguration day...
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 11 June 2014Read more
A social needs study has commenced to identify of the needs of the 104 families that make up the Droogfontein Community Property Association, as well as to develop a register of priorities. In order to carry out the study, a team of young previously unemployed local people have been selected from within the Kimberley area and 50km radius of the solar project and undergone training and skill development to undertake the study.
“As part of our project’s vision to build capacity within the local community, previously unemployed people with a Grade 12 certificate have received training and skills to carry out this study,” explained Marion Green-Thompson, Economic Development Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power.
Originally 12 people were identified with the intention of taking a 'survivor' style approach where participants would exit as they progressed through different levels, completing exercises that required application of the skills they were taught, which would ultimately leave the research team with six of the best performers. However, the trainees were so enthusiastic and engaged in the assignment that the selection strategy was reviewed to allow for the entire team to remain for the full duration of the training.
Future work opportunities are a strong possibility, as the training service provider has undertaken to hire the best performers for future work in the Kimberley and Northern Cape area. All employees will receive letters of reference as well as training certificates of completion. “This experience has been very positive for us and will no doubt look to include young people wherever possible in future programmes,” concluded Green-Thompson.
- eThekweni Energy Office, 10 June 2014Read more
EThekwini Municipality in partnership with the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) co-hosted a workshop to discuss potential energy "cogeneration" in the KZN region. Cogeneration is the combined generation of electricity and heat and has significant potential in industrial cities like Durban where heat is often required for manufacturing process.
The National Department of Energy has indicated its intention to issue a request for proposals for the acquisition of up to 800 MW from cogeneration and the workshop was intended to prepare businesses and government for this new renewable energy opportunity.
Derik Coetze , Program Manager at SANEDI said "The program was within the framework of the co-operation between the governments of South Africa and Germany in the energy sector, the South African Department of Energy (DoE) and the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI) the South African – German Energy Program (SAGEN)".
He explained "The program aims to increase investments in the energy efficiency field, through the development of a market for energy efficiency service providers (ESCos). A key focus will be the market development for cogeneration which is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat and to introduce these efficient technologies in the commercial and industrial sectors with an overview of international best practices".
Keynote speaker at the workshop was Dr. Ruth Egyptien from STEAG, in Germany. Dr Egyptien holds a PhD in Bioprocess Engineering, and is employed by STEAG as Project Manager. Her experience includes International Project Management for Consulting Services, Project Development as well as Project Execution.
Dr. Egyptien outlined the co-generation development process and cautioned project developers to carry out energy audits to determine if the project will be economically and technically viable before investing in designing of a project. She explained that obtaining an agreement from the energy service provider for connection to the electrical grid can be challenging.
Dr. Egyptien highlighted successful co-generation projects done worldwide and in Africa including a very successful project that was done in Uganda in the sugar industry. She directed service providers to the following website for guidance when designing a co-generation project. " Co-generation is a commercial project that is economically and financially viable, Africa has great potential for co-generation in most industries" said Dr Egyptien.
Abrie Cronje, Engineer at eThekwini Electricity said "eThekwini Municipality is the first Municipality in South Africa to accept applications for grid tied energy generation. Developers are required to complete an application form and sign a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) with the Municipality." eThekwini is authorised to purchase electricity from embedded generators at the Mega Flex rate - the rate at which Municipalities are charged to purchase electricity in bulk from Eskom. EThekwini currently has 5 PPA's in place.
For more information on embedded generation in Durban, please visit the embedded generation section of the eThekwini Energy Office website
- Holle Wlokas, 22 May 2014Read more
The Cape Town-based Community Development Resource Association (CDRA) recently hosted a gathering of civil society stakeholders with some representation from the investment, consulting and project development sectors. The aim was to connect people and organisations concerned with the economic development requirements of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) with conversation around investment and activities in local communities as a result of the various requirements of the programme.
Participants shared their insight from working with project developers, government departments and affected communities and a broad variety of perspectives and experiences was shared. There was general acknowledgement of the challenges faced in implementing meaningful local economic development and socio-economic development strategies as stakeholders grapple with the most effective way to couple the massive investment in the utility scale renewables sector with meaningful development in the areas immediately surrounding the projects over a 20 year timeframe.
Challenges include the identification of beneficiary communities within the prescribed 50km radius around project sites and the unintended exclusionary effect for communities outside of this radius. The identification of needs and priorities of the beneficiary communities can also be a challenge if appropriate processes aren’t followed. The amounts available for socio-economic and enterprise development are significant over the 20-year time-frame and there was much debate over whether investment decisions would have to involve local government or if they could be made in isolation. The practice of supporting micro and small enterprises was highlighted as a further challenge as these initiatives have a poor success rate due to a lack of business experience among the individuals and organisations tasked to support and grow such initiatives.
Electrification was another topic that received attention, with participants highlighting energy as being the core business of project developers in the REIPPPP and that such expertise might potentially be applied in order to supply communities which lack basic energy services through through the implementation of mini-grids and small-scale renewable energy technologies, thereby assisting the national goal of access to energy.
Current activities of participants around the issue of community development through the REIPPPP includes the South African-based research of the Electricity Governance Initiative which is currently investigating community perceptions of the REIPPPP roll-out. Findings will be published in a report in mid-2014. The EnergyBlog is also reporting on developments in the REIPPPP and is expanding its coverage on developmental aspects around the programme with links to news and resources. CDRA will continue its collaboration with industry stakeholders and Holle Wlokas is continuing her PhD research on the various community benefit schemes.
Later in the year, the annual WINDABA conference in Cape Town has been highlighted as an opportunity to engage in further debate and to present opinions and research. This year's call for abstracts is focussing on the socio-economic aspects around wind energy in South Africa and submission of abstracts is open until 15th July 2014. For more information, see http://www.windaba.co.za/call-for-abstracts-windaba-2014/.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 20 May 2014Read more
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has proudly announced that it has achieved its Commercial Operations Date on schedule and on budget, an impressive achievement for one of the country’s first and largest wind farms. All 60 turbines were commissioned and connected to the Eskom grid in April and the project satisfied all of Eskoms’ requirements on 15th May. “We are thrilled to have reached this milestone on target and to have met all Eskom’s requirements including Grid Code Compliance,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Kouga Executive Mayor, Booi Koerat has come out in support of the industry, which is benefiting the region as a whole, saying "Wind energy projects are breathing new life into the Eastern Cape economy. In Kouga they have given hope to the unemployed and have inspired our young people to pursue careers in energy-related fields. It is an exciting tim for the Eastern Cape to be at the forefront of developments that will generate the energy required for our country to prosper as a whole."
The Eastern Cape region is benefiting substantially from the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) through economic development and employment opportunities. During Operations, the communities within a 50km radius of the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm will gain from the Projects Economic Development programs which will include socio economic and enterprise development programs, the Amandla Omoya Community Trust as well as employment and procurement opportunities during operations.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm was one of the first wind projects to supply the Eskom grid with power in the Eastern Cape area. Spanning 3 700 hectares the project began construction December 2012 and now supplies the Eskom 132 kilowatt (kV) grid line. "It is astounding to think that this project was constructed in just eighteen months; this is testament to how swiftly renewable energy can be deployed to help meet the energy needs of this country," said Leo Quinn, Project Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
The Project will generate approximately 460 000 megawatt (MWh) per year, supplying enough clean renewable electrical energy to power more than 100 000 average South African households. Not only will Eskom benefit from the additional power being fed into its constrained grid.
“Our Project has received resounding support from the local municipality and the surrounding communities who supported us throughout the construction phase, for this we most grateful and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship,” concluded Pickering.
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 15 May 2014Read more
On Thursday the 15 May 2014, Droogfontein Solar Power, one of the first solar facilities arising from the South African Government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), held an inauguration event to mark the completion of a six year journey, from project development to operation.
This privately-owned power generation plant is one of 30 that have so far been approved by the Department of Energy to be established in the Northern Cape, which is set to become the province with the largest production of renewable energy in the country by 2020.
“We are proud to be one of the first private power producers established in terms of government's Integrated Resource Plan, which encourages a diverse range of supply technologies to meet the country's future electricity needs, reduce its carbon emissions and make a positive impact on local communities,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power.
The fast growing renewable energy sector in the Northern Province is focussed on on solar energy and is expected to attract massive investments. Speaking during the State of the Province Address, Premier Sylvia Lucas, said the Provincial Renewable Energy Strategy had been developed to unlock existing potential and to position the province to attract both local and foreign investment.
The Project has now commenced its 20-year operations phase and has set in motion its socio-economic development programme which will have positive impact on the communities within a 50km radius through this programme. According to Pickering, “Education and training are vital if we are to unlock the potential of this new industry and best utilise South Africa’s abundant solar resource”. To this end Droogfontein Solar Power will be devoting the bulk of its social economic development budget to support education.
Programmes to be supported include early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme; numeracy and literacy interventions at a primary school level; mathematics and science programmes at secondary schooling level; and scholarships for engineering-related studies at tertiary level.
Droogfontein Solar Power will generate 85 458 MWh per year, supplying enough clean, renewable electrical energy to meet the annual energy needs of more than 19 000 average South African homes. It was the first solar plant to supply Eskom with power in the Kimberley area in November last year, realising a milestone for the region. This Project, which is constructed on 100 hectares of land leased from the Droogfrontein Communal Property Association, achieved full commercial operations during the first week of April 2014.
- De Aar Solar Power, 14 May 2014Read more
On Wednesday 14 May 2014, De Aar Solar Power, one of the first solar facilities arising from the South African Government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), held an inauguration event to mark the completion of a six year journey, from project development to commercial operations.
The Project, located six kilometres outside of the town of De Aar in the Northern Cape, has now commenced its 20-year operations phase and set in motion its socio-economic development programme to, which will impact positively and without delay on the benefit communities within a 50km radius of the solar farm. These initiatives are in line with the recent statement by Deputy Minister of Energy, Barbara Thompson, who said, "Apart from the obvious benefits of clean power production and the ability to construct renewable energy projects much faster than traditional power stations, we recognise the potential impact that the renewable energy industry will have on job creation, skills transfer, infrastructure development and economic development, which are much needed in our country."
De Aar Solar Power consists of 167 580 photovoltaic (PV) panels spread over 100 hectares of land owned by the Emthanjeni Municipality. The plant will generate 85 458 MWh per year, supplying enough clean, renewable electrical energy to meet the annual needs of over 19 000 average South African homes.
Construction commenced in December 2012, employing over 370 local workers at the peak of its construction and achieved full commercial operation a short 17 months later in April this year. After assessing local socio-economic needs the Project will focus on education support programmes with a percentage of revenues going toward programmes focussed on early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme; numeracy and literacy interventions at a primary school level; support for mathematics and science programmes at secondary schooling level; and scholarships for engineering-related studies at tertiary level.
"Renewable energy generation benefits both the natural environment and, just as importantly, local communities," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of De Aar Solar Power. "During construction, we developed skills and created jobs for hundreds of local workers. Now that operations have commenced we will focus on developing the minds of the youth so that they too can make a positive contribution to the economic growth of the country."
De Aar Solar Power Project will also run an enterprise development programme in the surrounding towns of De Aar, Britstown and Hanover for the full 20 year lifespan of the project. A significant 8% of the project is owned by Sibona Ilanga community trust.
The Northern Cape is host to the majority of the country's planned solar power plants, due to the exceptionally high levels of solar radiation within the region. The province will be the largest producer of renewable energy (green energy) in the country by 2020. The department of Energy has so far approved 31 projects for the province among which were De Aar Solar Power and Droogfontein Solar Power. Altogether these projects will create over 6,502 jobs during the construction phase and a further 8,736 permanent jobs.
- Holle Linnea Wlokas, 09 May 2014Read more
The Cookhouse Wind Farm, located between the towns of Cookhouse and Bedford in the Eastern Cape, is a Round 1 REIPPP (Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme) Project and currently South Africa's largest wind farm with an installed capacity of 138.6MW from 66 Suzlon S88 turbines. It is also the only large renewable energy project currently underway known to have implemented a fully functioning community liaison office for active engagement with local residents and businesses in the area, providing thought and process leadership for other South African renewables projects either under construction, reaching financial close or fully operational. Through thorough community liaison, local stakeholders are kept informed of developments and the project has a far better chance of acceptance and broader appreciation for the benefits that the wind farm may bring to the area.
South Africa's renewable energy program has so far resulted in the implementation of 47 wind, solar and small-hydro projects and preparation for another 17 projects is underway. Some Round 1 wind and solar plants have already completed construction and are connected to the national electricity grid generating power. The remainder of 2014 will see all other Round 1 projects reach commercial operations.
Whilst the achievements of one of the biggest utility-scale renewable energy programmes in the world currently are to be applauded, public awareness about renewables, and the procurement programme in particular, is lacking. Some of the project developers have been more forthcoming in this regard than others however, choosing to contribute to the public debate through regular updates on their project progress.
One such project is the Cookhouse Wind Farm with outstanding efforts being made by the Cookhouse Wind Farm Community Liaison Office. The Liaison Office is currently managed by the developer of the Wind Farm – African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) – essentially providing these services to the Wind Farm Project Company, majority owned by African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 ("AIIF2") and Apollo Investment Partnership II ("Apollo"), both specialised infrastructure funds managed and advised by African Infrastructure Investment Managers ("AIIM"). Investors in AIIF2 and Apollo include institutions from South Africa and internationally and reflect a commitment by these institutions to the long term establishment of renewable energy solutions in South African and African infrastructure generally. The Cookhouse case has been so successful that the model has been replicated on other projects implemented by Cookhouse shareholders – the Hopefield Wind Farm and the REISA Kathu Solar PV Park.
James Cumming of ACED shared some of their experiences and reflections in an interview with the University of Cape Town's Energy Research Centre.
Where did the idea for a Community Liaison Office come from?
ACED, the Cookhouse Wind Farm Project Company and it's shareholders place great value on participatory and consultative community and stakeholder engagement. With this in mind and the progressive economic development commitments made to the Department of Energy and ultimately the local community, ACED proposed that a Liaison Office be established at Financial Close. ACED has been working on the development of Cookhouse and other wind farms in the area since 2009 and thus was well placed to manage the office, harnessing the relationships made and upholding continuity for the community.
What does the office do?
Essentially it serves as the interface between the Project and the local communities of Cookhouse, Bedford, Somerset East and Adelaide. The office is staffed with two permanent and one part time employee who constantly engage with local government, residents, businesses and other stakeholders. Although it is communication and engagement that is at the heart of the Liaison Office operations initially this was labour focused. The office hosts a database in which local job seekers and service providers can register their skills and availability. This is then provided to the contractor and sub-contractors and used as the primary source of local employment. As the wind farm has progressed closer to commercial operation, readiness for economic development initiative become a key objective. The office team facilitates large- and small-scale community meetings to provide updates and consult on matters such as the Community Trust establishment process as well as labour and local contract opportunities. They also hold regular meetings with a Community Engagement Committee that it established with the local Blue Crane Development Agency. Project progress updates and interesting facts and information are disseminated through a Local Area Circular that is sent to a mailing list, online forums, and local newspapers, as well as posted on municipal and public notice boards and outside the office itself. It includes updates on construction, local labour figures, local wind farm goodwill projects and initiatives and Community Trust development etc.
As mentioned, the project is also sponsoring small goodwill projects during the construction phase and this is project managed by the Liaison Office. Such projects include a sponsored football tournament, a school competition for building a wind turbine model with lectures given by an engineer on renewable energy and wind power and a greening project whereby 66 trees are being planted at different beneficiary locations symbolizing the number of turbines on site.
The office also supports the socio-economic development efforts that the project is investing in. Appointed consultants are assisted and accompanied when discussing opportunities for local economic development with active people and organisations in the area.
What are the main benefits for the project?
The benefits are very clear. The Wind Farm Project Company and the EPC Contractor, Suzlon, understand, with the help of the office, "who is who" in the area and are able to adhere to local norms and processes in developing long term sustainable relationships as the Wind Farm becomes a member of the community. For instance, recruiting local residents as workers and procuring services from local businesses is conducted in an open and transparent way. Any local issues or contention is able to be dealt with quickly and clearly. Furthermore, the office assists the Project in understanding the needs and assests of the local area, highlighting potential for the socio-economic development initiatives when operations commence. Once this is underway the office's role will change, with it becoming a repository for project proposals and serving as a project manager in implementing initiatives and monitoring their effectiveness, all the while harnessing long term relationships developed through the construction process and before. The fact that this happens locally is key to impact and sustainability.
- Holle Linnea Wlokas, 07 May 2014Read more
The decentralised and localised nature of renewable energy power generation offers the potential to couple energy security and carbon emissions reduction goals with socio-economic developmental aspirations. Renewable energy projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme are obliged to make a real contribution to local economic development in the immediate area of the wind, solar and other renewable energy power plants and the procurement rules stipulate that projects spend a percentage of their revenue on socio-economic and enterprise development, as well as allocate ownership shares to local communities.
Projects from rounds one and two of the competitive bidding process had to allocate between 1 and 1.5% of their projected revenue towards socio-economic development (SED), and a maximum of 0.6% towards Enterprise Development (ED). Developers also had to allocate shares to local communities, with between 2.5 and 5% of the ownership required to lie with a legal entity representing local communities within a 50km radius of the project sites. Project applications submitted for round three were permitted to allocate even more percentages to these elements, if they wished to.
The aim is that funds allocated towards SED be invested into socio-economic development measures around the renewable energy sites and projects are asked to assess the needs in the proximity and develop appropriate response measures. Enterprise development funds are to be invested in support of small and medium enterprises and dividends from the ownership shares are required to be invested for the benefit of local residents.
Under the REIPPP, South Africa currently has 64 approved wind, solar, small hydro and bioenergy projects at various stages of development, with many of the round one projects starting to come online. These plants have contracts to generate electricity for 20 years and the cumulative commitments made towards SED and ED amounts to a substantial R11.5 billion over this period. The distribution of this amount varies across provinces depending on the number of approved IPP projects within each province. The Northern and Eastern Cape stand to benefit the most under the first three rounds of the REIPPP. The former with 32 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is going to receive over R7 billion, whilst the Eastern Cape with 13 IPPs is going to benefit from roughly R2.5 billion. Just under R1 billion is going to be invested in the Western Cape and less than half a billion in each of the Free State and Limpopo provinces.
Under the REIPPP, the developers have been tasked with deciding on how these funds are governed and spent with clear stipulation that the funds need to be invested into socio-economic and enterprise development measures that benefit previously disadvantaged communities around the projects.
Funding from these projects provides a great opportunity for long-term, localised measures in support of the national development goals such as those identified in the National Development Plan. Every effort should be made to ensure that such measures are strategically aligned with local, district, provincial and national government policy. Sustainable measures should foster the transformation towards a low-carbon economy on a local level with the result that low-carbon community development would guide investments to greener decisions and employment of appropriate technologies such as solar water heaters instead of electric geysers.
Holle Linnea Wlokas is a PhD Candidate at the Energy Research Centre, UCT
SED and ED commitments per Province of approved BWR 1-3 IPP’s
Source: Authors analysis of procurement data accessed through the IPP-unit in collaboration with National Treasury and the Department of Energy
p90 scenario accumulated 20 years
p90 scenario accumulated 20 years
SED and ED
R 481 030 913,32
R 1 999 500 021,47
R 2 480 530 934,79
R 151 046 154,90
R 312 541 031,23
R 463 587 186,13
R 110 652 022,48
R 284 123 050,28
R 394 775 072,76
R 1 636 016 841,93
R 5 468 988 710,64
R 7 105 005 552,57
R 216 263 290,05
R 624 280 745,62
R 840 544 035,67
R 131 171 966,49
R 131 171 966,49
R 2 595 009 222,68
R 8 820 605 525,73
R 11 415 614 748,41
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 06 May 2014Read more
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm has announced that all 60 of its wind turbines are in place and fully commissioned. The project is moving swiftly along to its Commercial Operations Date, and will soon be generating enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 110 000 average South African homes and avoid over 420 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.
The Project began supplying power to Eskom in December last year and erected its final turbine in February, "We were one of the country's first wind farms to be connected to the national power grid and look forward to achieving commercial operations soon," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm spans 3 700 ha and is one of the first wind farms being developed by the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP). The site was chosen for its optimal wind conditions and minimal environmental constraints, as well as its close proximity to a 132 kV Eskom grid line. With demand for electricity continuing to grow in South Africa, the introduction of this clean energy will have far reaching benefits for the country's power sector, economy and people.
- Department of Energy, 19 April 2014Read more
The Minister of Energy, Dikobe Ben Martins, announced various infrastructure programmes in the electricity, gas, petroleum and nuclear sector.
These announcements relate to measures that will be introduced by the Department of Energy to strengthen the energy sector by amongst others, increasing the uptake of new generation technologies including cogeneration and the implementation of a revised model for the Solar Water Heaters programme. The Department also seeks to facilitate the development of the biofuels industry and increase the uptake and usage of gas to reduce overdependence on the electricity grid.
Key announcements made by the Minister are:
Additional generation capacity under window 3 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPP) programme
At the end of 2013, the Department of Energy announced preferred bidders under Window 3 of the REIPP programme. During the announcement, the Department indicated that it would consider allocating additional megawatts due to the fact that the prices offered by the bidders are competitive, and reflect a downward trend compared to the prices in windows 1 and 2. The inclusion of additional bidders will therefore increase the number of IPPs, contributing towards the Department of Energy’s effort to ensure that renewable energy forms a significant part of the energy mix. The Department will, in this regard, follow due procurement process to include additional bidders under Window 3. 1The Minister also announces that a submission for Window 4 of the REIPP programme, which entails the procurement of 1000 megawatts, is on track to close in August 2014.
Procurement of generation capacity through cogeneration and coal technologies
In line with the Department of Energy’s programme, and as set out in section 34 of the Electricity Regulation Act, the Minister has determined that the economy requires additional generation capacity in the form of cogeneration and coal generation. In this regard, in April 2014, the Department of Energy intends to start a process to procure 800 megawatts of cogeneration to be followed in May 2014 by a 2 500 megawatts of coal generation. This determination is made under the IPP programme and will complement the capacity that is generated by the IPPs licensed in Windows 1, 2, 3.
Solar Waters Heaters (SWH) Programme
Government’s effort to introduce a new procurement model for the SWH programme is at an advanced stage. Government took a decision to stop the subsidization of imported SWH systems in favour of local manufacturing to increase job creation, industrialisation and the socio-economic impact of the programme. Working with other government departments such as the Departments of Trade and Industry, National Treasury, Higher Education and Training, Public Enterprises and Economic Development, and Eskom, the Industrial Development Corporation and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), the Department of Energy announces this revised contracting model as the only basis for accessing government subsidies under the SWH rebate programme. The Department of Energy has concluded the evaluation of the potential manufacturers of the SWH systems. The list of compliant manufacturers will be announced as soon as the SABS has completed due diligence and independent verification of the manufacturers, which will be in April 2014. Once this is done, the Department, working with Eskom and municipalities will implement the revised contracting model which will include localisation and skills development. The rollout of the new model will start in the current financial year 2014/15. A stakeholder engagement process will be embarked upon to further elaborate on the revised contracting model for SWH.
Mandatory blending of biofuels
In March 2014, the Department of Energy concluded stakeholder consultation on the position paper dealing with the mandatory blending of biofuels into petrol and diesel. Emanating from this consultation, the Department has considered the inclusion of sugar cane positively as one of the reference feed-stocks in the first phase of the programme. The inclusion of sugar cane is expected to contribute towards the growth and development of the sugar cane industry, thus increasing its contribution to job creation and poverty eradication, particularly in Mpumalanga and Kwazulu Natal. The final position paper will be published in May 2014 and the effective date for mandatory blending remains October 2015.
Draft Gas Utilisation Master Plan
The Department of Energy is exploring measures to increase the uptake and usage of gas in the economy, given the potential relating to shale gas exploitation to make us energy independent. Gas will also help reduce the current demand on the electricity grid. The master plan includes infrastructure development options, including pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals, the creation of an enabling environment for the interconnection with neighbouring countries and the institutional arrangements for managing our gas resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The Gas Utilisation Master Plan will become available in May 2014 for public consultation. The finalisation of this process will go a long way to increase the uptake and usage of gas in South Africa.
National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institution
On 31 March 2014, the board of the National Radioactive Waste Disposal Institute was inaugurated and we congratulate the new members. The Institute will be responsible for the management and disposal of radioactive waste on a national basis, ensuring that South Africa has a long term, holistic approach to the 3management of radioactive waste including the capacity to handle high level radioactive waste, as South Africa prepares to implement the nuclear energy programme. In issuing these announcements, Minister Martins emphasised that, “these interventions are necessary as government has a responsibility to create a transparent, predictable and stable policy and regulatory environment. The Department will continue to strengthen its engagement with stakeholders to increase the uptake of the available economic and business opportunities, especially by SMMEs and black companies in all provinces in South Africa”.
Integrated Resource Plan Update
With regard to the review of the Integrated Resource Plan 2010, Minister Martins indicated that the review process is on-going. Having concluded the public consultation process, the Department of Energy will now consult with other departments before a final decision on the review of the IRP 2010 is made. The revised IRP will be issued in the second semester of 2014.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 17 April 2014Read more
Thousands of Eastern Cape School children are learning about the significance of renewable energy and science through a programme sponsored by Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, one of the county's largest wind farms. Launched in 2013, the purpose of the programme is to provide High School students with projects that will broaden their knowledge of science, with specific focus on renewable energy. "It is imperative to increase awareness and interest in the renewable energy industry and science amongst learners if our country is to develop the much needed skills in this area," Mark Pickering, General Manger of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
The content is targeted at Grade 9 – 11 learners from the local schools and includes educational activities that illustrate the need for renewable energy projects within South Africa, using a comprehensible approach and simple language.
The specific objectives of the programme include; education and awareness around wind energy; encouraging an interest in the sciences and renewable energy career fields; exposing learners to scientific experimentation and understanding broader renewable energy sources; and educating learners about climate change and its implications for South Africa.
As part of the school’s programme, an essay competition was initiated, aimed at increasing awareness of the industry and the benefits of renewable energy. The essay content looked at the highlights and the benefits of renewable energy within South Africa. “Assessments and marking of the essays focused on the content and relevance to the topic and general understanding of the renewable energy concepts as well as the importance to our country, in addition to the level of research conducted to be able to discuss the issues,” explained Pickering.
Learners won cash prizes and each entrant received a book voucher. The lucky winners also got to be some of the first visitors to the wind farm, making the content and learning experience tangible – and a great deal of fun.
Participating schools, all of which participated in the essay competition, include:
- Global Leadership Academy (Jeffreys Bay)
- Humansdorp Secondary School (Humansdorp)
- Hankey Secondary (Hankey)
- Nico Malan (Humansdorp)
- Lungiso Secondary School (Humansdorp)
- Patensie High School (Patensie)
- Droogfontein Solar Power, 14 April 2014Read more
Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power have both achieved Commercial Operations Date during the first week of April 2014, having mobilized their construction teams in December 2012. These Independent Power Producers, situated in the Northern Cape will now commence their 20-year Operations Phase. "We have reached a significant milestone having satisfied all of Eskom's requirements for operations to commence, including Grid Code Compliance," explained Mark Pickering, General Manager of Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power.
He continued saying, "Over the 17 months of construction the two plants have always been neck and neck. In the end the De Aar team made it to Commercial Operations just a day ahead of the Droogfontein team, on 5 April."
To commemorate their completion, the projects' Inaugurations are planned for mid-May, drawing visitors from across the globe, as well as local dignitaries and officials. The Northern Cape was the first province in the country to connect utility-scale photovoltaic (solar) plants to the national electricity grid and expects to play a pivotal role in the renewable energy sector, due to the exceptionally high levels of solar radiation that the region experiences.
South Africa's widely acclaimed Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer program is now into its third year with most projects from Round One under construction and a handful under full commercial operation.
Droogfontein Solar Power was the first solar plant to supply the Eskom grid with power in the Kimberley area and one of the first solar projects to export power in South Africa. De Aar Solar Power became the only Photovoltaic (Solar) project to export power into the De Aar Municipality line on 3 December. The two Projects will both generate around 85,000 MWh per year, supplying enough clean, renewable electrical energy to power over 19,000 average South African homes.
Not only will Eskom benefit from the additional power being fed into its constrained grid, but the country and indeed the plant will benefit from reduced use of fossil fuels, zero carbon emissions through solar power,
minimal water consumption during the generation process and significant social and enterprise development programmes to be delivered by each plant.
In 2011, the International Energy Agency said that "the development of affordable, inexhaustible and clean solar energy technologies will have huge longer-term benefits. It will increase countries' energy security through reliance on an indigenous, inexhaustible and mostly import-independent resource, enhance sustainability, reduce pollution, lower the costs of mitigating climate change, and keep fossil fuel prices lower than otherwise".
"We are most grateful for the support that this project has received from the various stakeholders and local communities and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficially relationship," concluded Pickering.
- De Aar Solar Power, 25 March 2014Read more
De Aar Solar Power has chosen to focus its community development projects on local schools in De Aar. This is in addition to the community projects that will be implemented within the local communities during the Project's 20 years of operations. These projects will be located within a 50km radius of the solar farm, with 80% of the allocated budget being focused on education support. The Programmes will focus on early childhood development, as part of a crèche support programme, numeracy and literacy interventions at a primary level; support for mathematics and science programmes at secondary schooling level and a Scholarship programme for engineering related studies at tertiary level. "Renewable energy generation aims to positively impact both the environment and just as importantly on local communities," said Mark Pickering, General Manager of De Aar Solar Power.
Over the last four months, De Aar Solar Power has invested a total budget of R800 000 on three local schools, namely De Aar High School, De Aar JPS School, and Monwabisi Secondary School. The schools were provided donations of the following: books, reading programmes, administrative and computer equipment, security fencing, and even an internal refurbishment of one of the school kitchen programmes.
"Education starts at our local schools. By investing in education we can help ensure that communities are developed upon solid foundations and ultimately help our country and its people to prosper," added Pickering.
During the twenty year operation period of the solar plant, De Aar Solar Power will spend a percentage of operational revenues on socio economic and enterprise development programmes.
- Ken Fullerton, 14 March 2014Read more
The cost of energy in South Africa has increased rapidly and this trend shows no sign of abating. In 2013, the National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) announced that the price of electricity will increase by at least 8% a year for the next five years until 2018, while the cost of paraffin [kerosene] – an energy source commonly used amongst low-income communities across South Africa – has more than quadrupled since the year 2000.
While the South African government has made great strides in delivering access to basic services for previously disadvantaged populations since the onset of democracy in 1994, there remains much to be done. More than 3,4 million people do not have a grid connection, and even among those that do, many continue to use multiple sources of energy (e.g. paraffin, candles) as a coping strategy for dealing with rising energy prices. Power cuts also occur quite regularly, particularly in low-income communities (townships). Dangerous and polluting energy products (such as braziers, paraffin stoves and candles) are widely used and devastating shack fires are commonplace, affecting thousands of people every year. One solution to this problem is the implementation of privately led, market-driven initiatives that aim to not only deliver clean, safe and reliable energy products to low-income communities, but also provide entrepreneurial opportunities to residents. EnerGcare is attempting to do just this.
Established as a for-profit social business in 2010, EnerGcare was created with three key objectives in mind:
- Firstly, to reduce energy poverty through increasing access to affordable renewable and efficient energy solutions at the "Base of the Pyramid (BoP)";
- Secondly, to reduce unemployment and poverty by providing opportunities to start EnerGcare franchises and/or selling EnerGcare products through existing township-based retailers;
- Finally, to reduce pollution and environmental degradation through replacing fossil-fuel based energy appliances and practices with EnerGcare products.
EnerGcare was developed and implemented as a partnership between PlaNet Finance, Restio Energy and The Business Place Philippi. Says Frances Fraser, Regional Director of PlaNet Finance Southern Africa: "developing a model for sustainable access to clean and renewable energy options, requires a strong partnership between different stakeholders committed to resolving these issues."
So, how does it work? EnerGcare is built around a network of Independent Distributors (see interview with Independent Distributor Ncediwe Singiswa) – currently operational in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Potchefstroom – who reside in the townships themselves. The Independent Distributors market and sell a range of renewable and efficient energy technologies for cell phone charging, cooking, heating and lighting. All products sold by EnerGcare need to carry manufacturers' warranties, be affordable, user-friendly, robust and meet the quality standards of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and the World Bank's Lighting Africa initiative. Independent Distributors buy goods at wholesale prices, enabling them to earn a commission on each product they sell. Explains Thabo Tsobane, EnerGcare Project Manager: "townships have limited awareness of these products. That is why we are using a direct sales approach where people can actually touch the products and see how they work". EnerGcare further provides after-sales support as well as induction training, sales training, an EnerGcare starter kit and on-going marketing support.
EnerGcare is a proud flagship project of the Western Cape government's '110% Green' Initiative that aims to connect environmental preservation with economic growth through creating a green economy. It is also registered on other renewable and clean energy platforms and databases including the Cape Town Green Map, Enviropaedia and the REEGLE Clean Energy Information Gateway.
2014 will see EnerGcare rapidly expand its operations into South Africa's rural and peri-urban areas, working with established retailers and local authorities. The initiative is also set to grow its network of distributors through cooperation with organisations such as the SEDA Atlantis Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI), and has a number of exciting new products being added to its catalogue.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 28 February 2014
All 60 Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s turbines are now in place and the project is swiftly moving along to its Commercial Operations Date in May. This follows closely on the announcement that the Project has commenced supplying power to Eskom, one of the country’s first wind farms to do so in South Africa. “We didn’t expect to complete the turbine erections this week, but the weather played along beautifully,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
A number of dedicated turbine erection crews, totalling around 90 men, have been working tirelessly to erect the Project’s turbines since August last year. “The crews focus and commitment never wavered, for this we are truly grateful,” added Pickering. Pickering continued, “During this period, crew members took the opportunity to gain experience and benefit from skills transfer, which they will take with them to other wind farm projects.”
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm spans 3 700 ha and is one of the first wind farms being developed by the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP). The site was chosen for its optimal wind conditions and minimal environmental constraints, as well as its close proximity to a 132 kV Eskom grid line. With demand for electricity continuing to grow in South Africa, the introduction of this clean energy will have far reaching benefits for the country’s power sector, economy and people.
- Annabel Eaton, 26 February 2014Read more
Professional engineering and management company, EES, have played a significant role in the implementation of solar renewable energy in South Africa to date. In this media release, Managing Director Bradley Hemphill and Project Manager James Ricketts offer their insights into the increased allocation to solar energy in the latest revision of South Africa's Draft Integrated Resource Plan.
A key revision outlined in South Africa's draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) revision (Update report 2013), is the proposed substantial increase in solar renewable energy capacity, both Photovoltaic (PV) and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).
The draft IRP revision proposes that the PV allocation be increased by 1330 MW, while CSP allocation, which to date has only been given a low MW capacity, be increased by a substantial 2100 MW. The increased solar energy allocation, if implemented, would of course contribute to alleviating the country's inconsistent, unreliable power supply. However, as importantly, it would lead to a number of very positive spin-offs and benefits, which would help overcome other challenges confronting South Africa.
Positive spin-offs and benefits
These spin-offs and benefits would be socio-economic development in the form of local content manufacturing and local job creation as well as the benefits of green energy itself.
"The proposed increased capacity would enhance socio-economic development. This would be in the form of local content manufacturing and job creation. Job creation would in particular take the form of employment of people from local communities," says Bradley Hemphill, Managing Director of EES, an ISO 9001:2008 professional engineering and management company, which has played a significant role in the implementation of solar renewable energy in South Africa to date.
"The proposed revisions would also contribute to green energy and a green environment by helping reduce carbon emissions in a country which has one of the highest carbon emissions worldwide."
The closing date for comments on the draft from renewable energy industry players was 7 February 2014. The comments received are currently being used to compile a final draft to be submitted to Cabinet in March 2014. Following Cabinet endorsement, the approved document will be promulgated.
In addition to the solar revisions, the combination of revisions under the new IRP which are finally accepted and implemented will steer the course of the Department of Energy's (DoE's) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) going forward. The REIPPPP is part of South Africa's national strategy to introduce up to 17800 MW of renewable energy by 2030. With the addition of the 17 projects in the third bidding round, South Africa now has 64 approved REIPPPP projects with a collective capacity of 3933 MW.
Local content manufacturing
When the REIPPPP was first conceptualized, one of the key objectives was to promote the development of local content in manufacturing industries.
Today local manufacturing is a legal requirement stipulated by the REIPPPP. All Independent Power Producers (IPPs) must meet specific targets for local content, preferential procurement and enterprise development.
Commenting on this James Ricketts, Project Manager for EES, says: "There has been an increase in local content targets in each round of the REIPPPP. In the first round the local content requirement for CSP was 21%. In the third round this was raised to as much as 40%."
Ricketts continues: "Integral to increased solar allocation will be the construction of many more plants, and this would mobilize local manufacturing."
Increased solar capacity would develop new businesses and propel existing businesses providing goods and services to the sector, throughout industry value supply chains.
There is also the prospect in future of exporting technology, equipment, skills and expertise as solar renewable energy programmes in the rest of the continent gain momentum.
Local job creation
With regard to job creation and social upliftment, all IPPs must meet specific targets for employment, ownership, and black people in top management, and it is compulsory for renewable energy equity projects to include local communities.
"The IRP draft revision's solar renewable energy proposals, if promulgated, would dramatically increase the employment of local people, both skilled and unskilled, and provide the opportunity to create new jobs through small start-up businesses and expansion of established businesses," says Ricketts.
Community participation requirements include job creation for citizens from local communities; ownership in the project company by black people and local communities; and development of emerging enterprises located in the communities.
These requirements are already being put into practice. A case in point is that of South Africa's first solar tower, the 50 MW Khi Solar One, and the 100 MW parabolic trough plant, KaXu Solar One, in the Northern Cape. Khi Solar One is complete, while KaXu Solar One is still under construction. It is reported that between the two plants, more than 1400 local construction jobs and 70 permanent operational jobs have been created.
According to the 'SA Solar Energy Technology Roadmap (SETR)' draft (October 2013): "As South Africa is one of the leading carbon emitting nations in the world, increasing the solar energy content within the national energy mix will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from the country."
"South Africa has made a number of international commitments to reduce its carbon emissions. For example, under the agreement in the Copenhagen Accord (2009), the country committed to reducing its green house gas emissions to 34% below its 'business-as-usual' growth trajectory by 2020. It is also committed to achieving the Millenium Development Goals (United Nations, 2000), which target environmental sustainability," Ricketts explains.
In South Africa the mandate for a green economy derives from the country's constitution and the country has a number of policies in place to implement the green economy. The National Development Plan (NDP), for example, is very specific about goals and a key focus is on energy and carbon, because greenhouse emissions are expected to peak in 2025.
"The National Planning Committee presented the NDP to South Africa in November 2011. The NDP's main focus was reportedly reducing the country's carbon emissions to a sustainable level by adopting adaptation and mitigation policies."
As renewable energy emits no carbon (carbon emission being a problem with regard to the country's traditional coal-fired power), the draft IRP revision's proposal to increase solar renewable energy allocation would contribute to implementing green energy and achieving a green environment in South Africa. Increased independent renewable energy production in the national electricity grid would certainly put the country in an improved position in terms of its carbon emissions.
Here again Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One are a case in point. Khi Solar One will save 183 000 tonnes of carbon a year, and the two plants together will save a total of 498 000 tonnes of carbon a year.
The greatly increased solar renewable energy allocations proposed by the draft IRP revision have far-reaching, very valuable, tangible spin-offs and benefits for South Africa.
"The implementation of the increased allocations is a move to be wholeheartedly encouraged and supported. The REIPPPP has been lauded globally as a South African success story. There is no reason why increased solar renewable energy allocation should not in the same vein be successfully implemented," contends Hemphill.
Ricketts concludes: "The revised allocations would demonstrate Government's long-term commitment and vision for solar renewable energy, both for PV and in particular for CSP. Promulgation of the proposals would generate increased confidence amongst industry players, and fast track further implementation of solar renewable energy going forward to the benefit of South Africa as a whole."
EES company profile:
Established in 2001, EES provides management, engineering and auditing services. As an ISO 9001:2008 certified company, it specialises in the integration of multiple system infrastructure including ICT, Data Centres, Audio Visual, Life Safety, Security and Building Automation Systems. With over 180 successful projects to date, EES operates predominantly in the Renewable Energy, Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Utilities, Telecoms and Mining sectors.
EES is committed to proactively assisting clients reduce their carbon footprint and facilitate the development of a 'green' commercial environment. With offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Stellenbosch, it plays a key role in mission critical environments in Africa. Having successfully delivered on numerous international projects, EES' clients, partners and stakeholders benefit from the company's global knowledge and expertise.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 20 February 2014Read more
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in South Africa, transported its final load from the Port of Ngqura to its site on 19 February. The project began with the transportation of the gigantic turbine components on 22 July 2013, completing distances of over 110 000 km in total. “This has been a huge undertaking and we would like to thank the public for their patience and support over the last seven months,” said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
Over 500 local commuters registered to receive weekly updates on the abnormal load transportation schedules, designed to keep drivers informed. The public has shown tremendous interest and curiosity by posting words of encouragement on the social media platforms and even calling into the Project’s call centre.
The perception that the ‘abnormal vehicle’ drivers are solely responsible for ensuring that this transportation programme was successfully executed is far from the truth, as the team working on the programme amounts to a very large group of dedicated individuals, from both the turbine supplier Siemens and the transport contractor Deugro. Drivers, escorts, riggers, supervisors, fitters, auto electricians, engineers, crane drivers, flag wavers and of course a health and safety officers are amongs the employees that make up this 70-strong team.
The heaviest loads, carrying 85 ton nacelles, weighed in at over 146 tons including the truck and trailer; the average speed was a very slow 40km/h; the average load time took 2.5hours from Port to site and there were a total of 480 loads.
In addition to ensuring the safe delivery of very expensive and crucial Wind Turbine components, this programme has provided the opportunity for local employment, skills development and training.
“The greater impact of the transportation programme is in the development of skills, including the truck drivers and their assistants who have learnt the workings of specialised abnormal trucks and trailers. Considering that this industry is in its infancy, these people now have the skills and experience to take advantage of the job opportunities that the industry will offer for years to come,” concluded Pickering.
- Jenna Wilson, 10 February 2014Read more
Hopefield, Western Cape, 10 February 2014: A major milestone for the South African wind energy industry was reached last week on 1 February 2014 when Hopefield Wind Farm achieved its Commercial Operation Date (COD) - the first REIPPPP wind project to do so.
Situated 5km southeast of Hopefield in the Western Cape, the wind farm comprises 37 wind turbines with an aggregate capacity of 66MW. Construction began in late 2012 and was completed on schedule and to budget.
Umoya Energy (the Cape Town-based owner and developer) was awarded a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in Round One of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which is promoting the development of renewable energy projects throughout the country.
Hopefield Wind farm will generate enough electricity to power approximately 70,000 low-income homes or 29,000 medium-income homes. To produce the same amount of electricity, an average South African coal-fired power station would emit approximately 195,000 tons of CO2 every year. Avoiding these CO2 emissions is equivalent to taking over 40,000 cars off the road.
A significant number of jobs have already been created by the project. During construction phase more than 300 people were employed from the local area alone. In addition, opportunities are being created for local suppliers and service providers, which will continue throughout the project’s 20 year life.
Vestas Southern Africa, supported by key electrical sub-contractors Conco, and civil engineering contractors Power Westland JV, is the EPC contractor responsible for wind turbine supply and wind farm construction, as well as operation and maintenance for the first 15 years. The company has recruited full-time operations personnel in the Western Cape who are undergoing training to operate and maintain this wind farm and others in the region.
The Hopefield Wind Farm Local Community Company (a Section 21 not-for-profit company that owns 5% of the wind farm) will channel Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development funding from the project over its 20 year life into the local community and administer various initiatives designed to benefit the community and foster education, particularly in regard to maths and science, the environment and sustainability. The first project to be commenced in 2014 will be to provide insulation improvements and solar geysers to economically disadvantaged families in Hopefield.
About Umoya Energy
Umoya Energy (RF) Pty Ltd was established in 2008 to develop and own Hopefield Wind Farm. The cornerstone shareholders include African Infrastructure Investment Fund (AIIF), Kagiso Infrastructure Empowerment Fund (KIEF) and the IDEAS Managed Fund, managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (Pty) Ltd, Infrastructure Empowerment Fund Managers (Pty) Ltd and Old Mutual Investment Group (Pty) Ltd respectively. These funds together with their fund managers bring extensive experience and expertise, together with the requisite finance capacity to undertake a project of this scale.
Project financing amounted to circa R1.45bn. Equity was provided by infrastructure funds AIIF, KIEF and IDEAS. Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, provided debt funding.
Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 49,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by over 60 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence. Today, Vestas has installed turbines in 73 countries, providing jobs for around 17,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices all over the world. With 62 per cent more megawatts installed than our closest competitor and more than 56 GW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.
The headquarters of Vestas Central Europe is located in Hamburg, Germany. The business unit is responsible for the sales and marketing of wind power systems as well as for the installation and operation of wind power plants in Germany, Benelux, Austria, Russia, Eastern Europe and Southern and Eastern Africa. Vestas Southern Africa is based in Johannesburg and operates at a number of wind farm sites around South Africa.
- , 05 February 2014Read more
A highly successful 2nd Annual Southern African Solar Energy Conference was held in Port Elizabeth last week. Hosted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and Chaired by Professor Ernest van Dyk of NMMU's Centre for Energy Research, the gathering had a focus on research, technology development and deployment of solar energy in the Southern African context.
The conference was attended by 127 delegates predominantly from the scientific, academic and engineering fields with representation mainly from the host country as well as Namibia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Spain, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and the UK.
Speakers presented papers and research on a range of topics, from the very technical such as materials engineering, solar optics and thermodynamics to more general such as markets, with a distinct bias towards the former given the nature of the event.
The conference comes at an exciting time in South Africa's renewable energy history with solar plants built as part of the country's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme coming online almost monthly.
The event was concluded with a visit to NMMU's Centre for Energy Research where research is being conducted on subjects such as photovoltaics, materials, energy efficiency, storage, energy economics, energy forecasting and modelling among others.
The event was run by Eastern Sun Events.
- Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, 03 February 2014Read more
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, is celebrating a string of achievements, amongst these is the announcement that 10 of the project’s wind turbines have now commenced supplying power to Eskom, one of the country’s first wind farms to do so in South Africa. “Our project substation has been energised, which means that we are now connected to the Eskom grid,’ said Mark Pickering, General Manager of Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.
He continued saying, “This marks the first step towards supplying enough clean, renewable electricity to power more than 114 000 South African homes and avoid over 420 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.”
Over 65% of the project’s total 60 wind turbines have already been erected and the transportation programme, which transports components from the Port of Ngqura, is soon to draw to an end. The final turbine foundation base was completed during the first week of December and a massive health and safety high point was celebrated over the same period. “December marked a number of achievements for us, including a phenomenal 1 Million hours worked without Lost-Time-Incident, a significant target for such a new industry in South Africa,” added Pickering.
Jeffreys Bay Wind Farmed achieved this milestone ‘1 Million hours without lost-time-incident’ on the 27 December 2013, at exactly 17:00, which is undoubtedly a highlight in this renewable energy project’s construction programme. This is a major success for one of the country’s largest wind farms, especially considering that the workforce had no experience in this sector before their first induction a few months ago. It is also remarkable given the sheer scale of the project with multiple activities taking place onsite. Over 70% of the workforces come from the local communities and are directly benefiting from gaining skills.
The energisation process included stringent Eskom and South African Health and Safety standards. The substation is divided into two parts, one for which Eskom is responsible for commissioning. Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm spans 3 700 ha and is one of the first wind farms being developed by the South African Governments Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPP). The site was chosen for its optimal wind conditions and minimal environmental constraints, as well as its close proximity to a 132 kV Eskom grid line. With demand for electricity continuing to grow in South Africa, the introduction of this clean energy will have far reaching benefits for the country’s power sector, economy and people.
Further information is available from the Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm website, www.jeffreysbaywind.co.za.
- , 03 December 2013Read more
Futuregrowth Asset Management has successfully won five projects in round three of the Department of Energy's (DoE) Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers' Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
REIPPPP provides for the procurement of 3 725 MW of renewable energy over five phases. In round three, the DoE received 93 Bid Responses and last month announced the 17 Preferred Bidders, of which Futuregrowthâs five projects total approximately R165-million in investment for the company. This brings the total number of REIPPPP projects in which Futuregrowth is involved, either through its Power Debt Fund (the projects in round one and two) and/or its Development Equity Fund (round three projects) to 23. Futuregrowth, on behalf of clients, has provided debt financing totalling over R4-billion for 18 energy projects during rounds one and two in wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar thermal (CSP), and expects to provide more funding in the secondary market.
The DoE has announced, however, that due to the large number of responses it may reconsider additional preferred bidders. Margo Buchanan, Renewable Energy Specialist at Futuregrowth Asset Management believes Futuregrowth may pick up more projects later this year and said its success was due in part to having been involved in the REIPPPP process from its inception.
"In round three, Futuregrowth achieved a 45.5 per cent success rate in our bids as compared to an average success rate of 18 per cent. In addition we won four out of four of our bids for onshore wind, which is 60 per cent of the total allocation in this phase."
One of the wind projects located at Gibson Bay in the Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape was awarded to Italian Enel Green Power (EGP) and will supply 111 MW. Futuregrowth is a development equity partner in the Gibson Bay Wind Farms. The 37 turbine wind farm will enter commercial operation in early 2017, generating in excess of 424 GWh (gigawatt-hour) per year at a fully indexed price of 66.4c/kWh, the lowest tariff bid in round three of the REIPPP program.
In addition to this, Futuregrowth is an equity partner in a consortium led by global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power, which was awarded Preferred Bidder status for three large-scale wind energy projects in the Northern Cape with a total generation capacity of 360 MW. The Mainstream projects, which represent a total investment of approximately R9-billion, are the Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein 2 Wind Farm (both with 140 MW capacity) located at Namakwa, and the Noupoort Wind Farm at Umsobomvu (with 80 MW capacity).
The fifth project is a R2.05-billion ($200-million) 86 MWp (megawatt-peak) ground mounted solar power plant that is expected to generate approximately 210 GWh annually. The project is secured under a co-development agreement between Total SA and Mulilo Renewable Energy.
All the projects involve an off-take purchase agreement with Eskom for power they will produce over the next 20 years.
Buchanan said these investments in renewable energy projects presented a growing asset class in local capital markets and offered a unique opportunity for Futuregrowthâs clients to access a pool of assets not normally available to institutional investors.
"Futuregrowth is a long-term player in the renewable space, and we have a unique offering to renewable projects because of our ability to invest across the capital structure in senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity, depending on the needs of the project," said Buchanan. "We expect an exciting few years to come as this space continues to grow."
- , 03 December 2013Read more
ARTsolar, South Africa's first locally owned Solar PV manufacturing plant, based in New Germany, has been awarded a contract for the supply of photovoltaic (PV) modules in the Government's R100-billion Round 2 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).
"This contract - which is the first in the REIPPP to be awarded to a majority South African owned (PV) module manufacturer - is an exciting development for ARTsolar," says Mark Walsh, managing director, ARTsolar. "These PV modules, which are being assembled at the ARTsolar plant in KwaZulu-Natal, form part of the 417,1 MW PV component of Round 2 of the REIPPP."
The company is committed to providing long term solutions to the development of the renewable energy industry, in support of the South African Government's goals for the roll-out of renewable energy generation capacity and the development of a local manufacturing complex. PV technology, with long term cost efficient features, is a reliable and proven source of electricity, which is environmentally-friendly.
In keeping with the REIPPP, where the creation of job opportunities, local content and community development remain essential ingredients of the programme, important considerations at ARTsolar are maximising local content of the modules, black economic empowerment, community employment, environmental protection and the manufacture of quality products in South Africa.
ARTsolar, which has made a substantial investment in the latest equipment, adheres to stringent international quality specifications and has implemented a certified training programme for the manufacturing team.
ARTsolar has teamed up in this REIPPP project with a leading global PV specialist that supplies modules and equipment all over the world. Astronergy, part of the Chint Group, is a large scale producer of PV modules in mainland China.
South Africa will benefit from the combined technologies, skills and experience of this team, also taking advantage of the successes of solar power projects implemented around the world.
Through the REIPPP initiative, the Government aims to procure and install 1,45 GW of PV capacity by the end of 2014.
Derek Morgan from the eThekwini Municipality Energy Office said "We are very excited that ARTSolar has been awarded this contract. This demonstrates the potential solar has for creating real green jobs in the city, while at the same time addressing climate change and energy challenges in the country."
Earlier this year, the REIPPP won the Green Infrastructure Project of the year award at the sixth Global Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in New York.
ARTsolar"s KZN manufacturing plant, with the latest equipment from Swiss manufacturer Meyer Burger Swiss Solar Systems - is geared to produce 250 000 PV modules or approximately 75 MW/year.
The modules carry a 25 year generation guarantee and have an estimated 40 year service life. All modules are manufactured according to stringent quality, environmental and safety specifications.
From the Twittersphere ...
ARTsolar receives first order of solar PV modules from Round 2 REIPPP http://t.co/0TxZQjUYv7â KSEF (@KZNenergy) December 3, 2013