State needs to ‘understand true power’ of solar energy

THERE is a lack of understanding of solar power and what it can provide in Africa.

This is according to Johan Cilliers, regional director of photovoltaic solar system provider First Solar.

Speaking at a media briefing in Rosebank on solar energy on Tuesday, he said government leaders needed to be made aware of the possibilities solar power presents.

However, Mr Cilliers said solar power was not the only solution to South Africa’s energy crisis, but could help alleviate it.

“Obviously there needs to be an integration of all our energy sources to provide the best possible solution. Solar photovoltaic (power) is already cost-competitive and it can go a long way in helping to stabilise the electricity grid,” he said.

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SA large scale IPP peaking power projects

10 June 2013 | ESI Africa

The 670 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa peaking power plants in South Africa will be the first large scale independent power producer (IPP) based projects in South Africa, outside its renewable energy programme, following a power purchase agreement (PPA) entered into with state owned power utility Eskom. Mitsui has established two project companies in South Africa, and these projects will sell electricity to Eskom for 15 years from their completion through two power generation plants.

The Avon project involves the construction of a 670 MW diesel fired open cycle power plant near Durban, and the Dedisa project involves the construction of a 335 MW diesel fired simple cycle power plant near Port Elizabeth. The electricity will be supplied to the major cities in the southern sector of South Africa. Continue reading

SA must do more with the same for its future electricity supply

SOUTH Africa must fast-track its transition to a reliable, modern and affordable electricity supply for all, the Electricity Governance Initiative of South Africa says in its recent Smart Electricity Planning report.

The report recognises the need to meet the country’s electricity demand to fulfil its developmental goals despite uncertain global and local economic growth.

Traditionally, electricity planning aims to supply whatever demand arises in the cheapest possible way. Unrestricted access to cheap coal has grown the South African economy, albeit for a restricted part of the population. Such an approach is unsustainable and has a tremendous impact on our natural systems, resulting in threats such as runaway climate change.

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Arrival of the First Blades for Cookhouse Wind Farm

Energy Blog | 30 May 2013

The first consignment of 16 turbines from Suzlon’s plant in India, destined for Cookhouse Wind Farm, began to arrive at the deepwater port of Ngqura near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape early last month. Presently, Ngqura is the only port suitable for receiving wind turbine blades which, in the case of Cookhouse, are 44 meters in length. Other components, including tower sections, gears and generators will arrive during the coming months as the construction on the wind farm site progresses. Major works have already begun with some of the wind turbine foundations having been excavated. Continue reading

Independent power for grid possible by year-end

Business Day Live 29 May 2013.

ESKOM could see the first power from the inaugural round of the independent power producer procurement programme by year-end.

Energy Minister Dipuo Peters on Tuesday launched the R240m RustMo 1 Solar Farm developed by black-owned energy group Momentous Energy.

The group is one of 18 preferred bidders in the first window of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. The bidders will generate 631MW of electricity from solar parks ranging in capacity from 5MW to 64MW…


Community to benefit from South African NW solar energy farm

28 May 2013 | SAnews

Buffelspoort – Energy Minister Dipuo Peters has lauded the first solar energy farm in the North West, saying that the community can already see the plant will contribute to the betterment of the area.

Speaking to SAnews at the launch of the RustMo1 Solar Farm on Tuesday, Peters said that communities were aware of renewable power sources.

“Communities are aware but the problem we have is that they have not been exposed [to it]… Our people can come here and see it in practice, that you can take the rays of the sun and produce energy from it,” she said.

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Financial closure for round 2 REIPPP in South Africa

14 May 2013 | ESI Africa

South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer programme (REIPPP) round two has reached financial closure with 19 projects achieving this milestone on May 9th 2013. These projects which should see a capital investment of R28 million comprise wind, solar and small hydro projects totalling 1,043.9 MW.

There are nine solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totalling 417.1 MW, seven wind projects totalling 562.5 MW, one concentrated solar project (CSP) of 50 MW, and two small hydroelectric projects totalling 14.3 MW.

The average tariff prices for the PV projects fell to 165c/kWh from the 275c/kWh of round 1. The average prices for the wind projects in round two fell from 114c/kWh to 89c/kWh. The CSP project came in at a price of 251c/kWh.

The second round follows the first REIPPP round of renewable energy projects being implemented in South Africa where 28 projects representing 1,416 MW are under construction.

The date for the submission of bids for the third round of REIPPP projects currently is the 19th of August 2013.