The South African Wind Energy Affiliation (Sawea) desires worldwide specialists to assist rescue 23 wind energy initiatives that failed to realize most popular bidding standing within the sixth bid window of the federal government’s Unbiased Renewable Vitality Procurement Program (Reippp).
The bidders have collectively invested round R100 million in these initiatives, solely to be shut out resulting from an absence of connectivity capability within the Eskom transport community within the North, East and West Cape.
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This got here as a shock as a result of they relied on Eskom’s personal Technology Connectivity Capability Evaluation, which was printed in March 2022 and indicated there was sufficient capability.
The primary paragraph of the doc states: “The publication of the Technology Connectivity Capability Evaluation of the Transmission Community 2024 (GCCA-2024) is to tell stakeholders of the potential capability out there on the Eskom transmission community to facilitate the supply of technology initiatives.”
Fima Jan Oberholzer, COO of Eskom, on Monday (January 23) admitted in an interview With Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk on RSG Geldsake there was a communication failure, contact factors weren’t reserved for bidders and entry information was not up to date commonly.
In the meantime, initiatives geared toward producing energy for personal prospects have captured all out there capability and bypassed bidders within the public procurement course of.
This resulted in solely 5 photo voltaic initiatives – with a mixed technology capability of simply 860 MW – declared as most popular bidders.
That is after President Cyril Ramaphosa, as a part of his power contingency plan, in July final yr elevated the preliminary tender provide of two,400 megawatts to 4,200 megawatts in a bid so as to add technology capability to the grid to deal with load shedding.
Peter Attard-Montalto, who leads political financial system, markets and simply power transition at Intellidex, wrote in his i-Weblog: “Failure on the finish of 2022 for REIPPP bid window 6 means plans at the moment are for 3GW stalled in any other case with bid window 7 It additionally appears a deep downside. Ending huge load leakage on the finish of 2024 which final yr appeared attainable, if tough, is now inconceivable.”
In accordance with Eskom, all of the out there supply capability within the three Cape provinces has been used up, which means the overall funding in these initiatives was wasted. They’re positioned the place wind assets are greatest and can’t be moved to different places.
Sawea CEO Niveshen Govender says the business is asking to rent a guide with expertise in captive community administration to advise Eskom on methods to combine these initiatives into the community.
He notes that nations in Scandinavia in addition to Australia and California within the US have handled the identical problem and South Africa can study from them. “The toughest factor is getting Eskom to conform to it and share the data.”
Govender provides that the business is keen to bear the fee. If Eskom agrees, it may very well be achieved inside six months, he says.
Time is of the essence
The time-frame is essential, as a result of the licenses for 23 initiatives, together with the environmental approval, are solely legitimate for yet one more yr. Then they swoop in and the money and time spent is for nothing.
Attainable options embrace grid sharing between photo voltaic and wind initiatives.
“Photo voltaic is generated throughout the day and wind is usually generated at evening. Internationally, it was discovered that there’s solely 7% overlap,” says Govender.
“Managing such a community is advanced, however not inconceivable,” he provides.
Govender says it is also value investigating the potential for connecting to the distribution community reasonably than transmission. “Germany has overcome the constraints of the rooftop photo voltaic transmission grid.”
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Saweh additionally desires to determine the supply of financing to take a position 72 billion rand within the transmission community over the following 5 years, which is required in line with Eskom.
On this regard, Attard Montalto writes: “The debacle of Bid Window No. 6 additionally highlights that we aren’t paying sufficient consideration to transmission, and that the R72 billion funding required within the subsequent 5 years is unlikely to be achieved. This creates a niche within the capability to acquire sufficient energy on the grid in 2024-2027, – once more pushing the top of load shedding even additional.”
To stop a repeat of the Bid Window 6 shock, Govender says, Eskom’s ready system for community entry have to be honest and clear.
“At the moment no one is aware of the way it works.”
He provides that initiatives focusing on non-public procurement shouldn’t be allowed to override these for public procurement.