14TH SEPTEMBER 2020
BY: TERENCE CREAMER CREAMER MEDIA EDITOR
The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has clarified that it is aiming to release bid documentation for the so-called fifth bid window (BW5) of the South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme in December, following receipt of the regulator’s concurrence with a Ministerial determination that clears the way for the resumption of procurement.
The Section 34 Ministerial determination has not yet been formally published in the Government Gazette, but the DMRE indicated to Engineering News & Mining Weekly on Monday that it intended Gazetting the document “before the end of next week”, having received the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s concurrence on September 2.
On September 11, the Political Task Team on Eskom, which is chaired by Deputy President David Mabuza, stated that the DMRE would open-up various bid-windows, including BW5, and that the “process will be completed in December 2020”.
Besides a procurement allocation of 6 800 MW for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic generators, the determination also caters for 3 000 MW of gas to power, 1 500 MW of new coal and 513 MW of energy storage. In total, the determination opens the way for the procurement of 11 813 MW.
There is currently some concern in the market about the technical specifications in the bid documentation, which some observers believe favour expensive fossil-fuel-based solutions.