Time running out to salvage 23 rejected wind energy projects

The South African Wind Power Affiliation (Sawea) needs worldwide specialists to help in salvaging the 23 wind technology tasks that failed to realize most popular bidder standing within the sixth bid window of the federal government’s Renewable Power Unbiased Energy Producer Procurement (Reippp) programme.

R100 million invested already

The bidders have collectively invested about R100 million in these tasks, simply to be omitted on account of an absence of connection capability in Eskom’s transmission grid within the Northern, Japanese and Western Cape.

This got here as a shock since that they had relied on Eskom’s Technology Connection Capability Evaluation, which was revealed in March 2022 and indicated that there was sufficient capability.

The primary paragraph of the doc reads: “The publication of the Technology Connection Capability Evaluation of the 2024 transmission community (GCCA-2024) is to tell stakeholders of the potential capability obtainable on the Eskom transmission community to facilitate connection of technology tasks.”

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In what Eskom COO Jan Oberholzer on Monday (23 January) admitted in an interview with Moneyweb editor Ryk van Niekerk on RSG Geldsake was a communications failure, the connections factors weren’t reserved for the bidders and neither was the entry knowledge up to date commonly.

Within the meantime, tasks geared toward energy technology for personal shoppers took up all of the obtainable capability and overtook the bidders within the public procurement course of.

This resulted in solely 5 photo voltaic tasks – with a mere 860MW of mixed technology capability – being introduced as most popular bidders.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa, as a part of his power emergency plan, in July final yr elevated the preliminary 2 400MW bid spherical to 4 200MW in an effort so as to add technology capability to the grid to handle load shedding.

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Peter Attard-Montalto, who leads on political financial system, markets and the simply power transition at Intellidex, wrote on his i-Weblog: “The failure at end-2022 of the REIPPP bid window 6 means plans at the moment are 3GW down on the place we in any other case must be, with bid window 7 additionally trying deeply problematic. Substantively ending load shedding at end-2024 that final yr appeared doable, if laborious, is now not possible.”

In accordance with Eskom, all obtainable connection capability within the three Cape provinces has been taken up, which might imply the full funding in these tasks can be wasted. They had been positioned the place the wind sources are finest and can’t be moved to different areas.

Niveshen Govender, CEO of Sawea, says the trade is asking for the appointment of a advisor skilled in managing constrained grids to advise Eskom on methods to combine these tasks into the community.

He notes that international locations in Scandinavia in addition to Australia and the state of California within the US have handled the identical problem and South Africa can study from them. “Essentially the most troublesome factor can be to get Eskom to conform to it and share the data.”

Govender provides that the trade is ready to hold the associated fee. If Eskom agrees, it may be completed inside six months, he says.

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Time is of the essence

The timeframe is essential, as a result of the authorisations for the 23 tasks, together with environmental approval, are solely legitimate for an additional yr. Thereafter they lapse and the money and time spent can have been in useless.

Doable options embody grid sharing between photo voltaic and wind tasks.

“Solar energy is generated in the course of the day and wind technology is usually at evening. Internationally it was discovered that there’s solely a 7% overlap,” says Govender.

“It’s advanced to handle such a community, however not not possible,” he provides.

Govender says additionally it is value investigating the opportunity of connecting to the distribution community slightly than transmission. “Germany has overcome limitations on its transmission grid with rooftop photo voltaic.”

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Sawea additionally needs to determine the place the funding for the R72 billion funding within the transmission grid over the subsequent 5 years, which is required in accordance with Eskom, will come from.

On this regard Attard-Montalto, writes: “The bid window 6 debacle additional highlights that we aren’t paying sufficient consideration to transmission, and that the R72bn of transmission funding wanted within the subsequent 5 years is nowhere close to prone to be achieved. This creates a gap within the means to get sufficient power on grid in 2024-2027, — once more pushing out the tip of load-shedding additional.”

Govender says to forestall a repeat of the Bid Window 6 shock, Eskom’s queueing system for grid entry should be honest and clear.

“At the moment nobody know the way it works.”

Tasks geared toward non-public procurement shouldn’t be allowed to overhaul these for public procurement, he says.

This text initially appeared on Moneyweb and was republished with permission.Learn the unique article right here.

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