21 May 2012: The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) has welcomed with great enthusiasm the announcement of the Preferred Bidders for Round 2 under the REIPPPP by the Minister of Energy this morning.
The further allocation of nine projects, totalling 417 MW of PV projects in this round demonstrates Government’s confidence that the sector can deliver well developed and viable solar projects that meet Government’s energy security and climate change objectives and that address wider socio-economic and economic development needs of the country.
This allocation is welcomed as it adds further momentum to realisation of the vast potential of solar energy in South Africa. This momentum is crucial in helping to attract foreign investment into South Africa and to ensure that there is long term viability for the sector.
The nine solar PV bidders selected as preferred bidders were: the 75 MW Solar Capital De Aar3, the 74 MW Sishen Solar Facility, a 9 MW Aurora project, the 8.8 MW Vredendal project, the 36.8 MW Linde project, the 69.6 MW Dreunberg venture, the 75 MW Jasper Power Company development, the 60 MW Boshoff Solar Park, and the 8.9 MW Upington Solar PV plant.
SAPVIA is working closely with Government to collectively develop a roll-out programme to increase the local content for PV technologies in South Africa which will further strengthen the value of solar PV. A long term procurement programme, beyond the current 1450MW of solar projects is needed in order to stimulate further investment in local manufacturing and ensure that there is a long term future for the industry.
To this end SAPVIA is also working with Eskom and Government to look at ways to initiate a large scale solar roof-top programme.
‘The challenge is to ensure that we collectively derive more value from solar energy development for all stakeholders in South Africa. This is a free fuel energy source which adds immense value to an already burdened electricity supply sector but also has significant potential to shore up local manufacturing, de-risk and de-carbonise the South African economy as we add more solar energy to our volatile energy mix. The added benefit is that the price of electricity from solar PV is predictable way into the future – it’s one of the only technologies where the buyers and owners can absolutely predict their cost in 20 years time. This will make a significant contribution to increasing GDP as well as help the social partners to move closer toward the achievement of the goals we all committed to in the Green Economy Accord’ said Davin Chown, SAPVIA Spokesperson.