South Africa approves 1.4GW of extra wind capacity

SOUTH AFRICA: South African energy regulator NERSA has approved an additional 1.47GW of wind power to be in place by 2020.

The capacity forms part of an extra 3.2GW of renewable energy requested by energy minister Dipuo Peters earlier this month.

The new allocation is in addition to the 1.85GW already announced under the first renewable energy independent producers procurement programme (REIPP) in 2011.

Only 653MW remains for procurement following the first two bidding rounds. A procurement process will follow, amended in the light of lessons learned during the first bidding round.

In extending the REIPP, Peters said she wanted to "create a rolling programme which will provide for sustainable employment through local manufacturing".

At the same time, Peters announced that the ministry is ready to sign off projects allocated under the first round but delayed due to internal problems.

Preferred bidders are invited to sign the power purchase agreements, implementation and financial agreements on 5 November. Once the contracts are signed, developers can start construction. The plants, totalling 634MW, are scheduled to come online in 2014.