Wind energy industry celebrates new bid widow for renewable procurement: A step towards overcoming loadshedding

The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) commends the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) for its decision to initiate Bid Window 7 (BW7) under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). 

The additional 5 000 MW of new generation capacity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs), with a substantial portion of this capacity (3 200MW) dedicated to wind energy, will help address energy security. The electricity generation profile from wind projects will prove beneficial to the system operator in reducing the impact of load shedding.

Contrary to a geographically agnostic approach, this bid round takes into consideration the country's grid constraints. The DMRE explicitly directs bidders to assess available supply areas based on the Generation Connection Capacity Assessment (GCCA) of the 2025 Transmission Network (GCCA 2025). 

Niveshen Govender, CEO of SAWEA, expressed appreciation for the Department's move towards building new generation capacity through renewable energy, citing its significant impact on sector industrialization. Govender emphasized the importance of rolling procurement to attract market investment and mitigate risks. 

To ensure a successful bid window, the industry is mindful of outstanding critical issues which require clarification, particularly those related to grid capacity and its allocation. In addition, the industry will examine the bid window document to assess its implications for upcoming projects set to come online. 

Therefore, ongoing constructive engagement with Eskom will be maintained until these issues are effectively resolved.

Govender further emphasizes the promising prospects for creating new industries, fostering job growth, and promoting localization across the entire value chain. 

The DMRE has set a bid submission date of April 30, 2024.