Signing of the implementation agreements with preferred bidders by the Department of Energy (DoE) last month paves the way for the projects to secure power purchase agreements with state utility Eskom, allowing the projects to proceed to financial close.
All seven projects are onshore schemes located in the Eastern Cape region and are due to come online in 2014. They include two schemes being developed by Cennergi, a joint venture of South African miner Exxaro and Indian giant Tata Power, which are the 138.6MW Amakhala Emoyeni Wind Farm and the 95.3MW Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm.
Government sign-off on the second REIPPP round was originally scheduled for December, but was delayed by the DoE due to being "inundates" with questions on how the process worked in the first round.
The timescale for submissions to the third round was also delayed. Having originally been slated for October 2012, this was pushed back to May 2013 and subsequently August 2013. A Request for Proposals for the third round is expected to be issued by the DoE shortly.
The wind power capacity available for tender in the third round was originally 653MW, but last year the government announced it would seek an additional 1.47GW of wind power.
The first REIPPP round was closed last year, bringing financial close for 634MW of wind projects.