Four of the 27 projects which have signed power purchase agreements with Eskom, have reached financial close.

The four projects, which fall under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, (REIPPPP), are being backed by Standard Bank and represent a combined investment of R6.6 billion in South Africa’s renewables sector.

The bank is the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and hedge provider of seven of the total 27 projects which have signed power purchase agreements with Eskom.  The remaining projects have until end July to reach financial close.

Collectively, the four projects already closed, being the Sirius, Dyasons Klip 1 and Dyasons Klip 2 solar projects in the Northern Cape and the Wesley-Ciskei wind project in the former Ciskei region of the Eastern Cape Province, will add 258 megawatts of renewable energy to South Africa’s national grid.

The three Northern Cape solar projects, being constructed by Norway’s Scatec Solar ASA were among the first projects to reach financial close in the current round of the REIPPPP process. Once commissioned Scatec will have a portfolio of 6 projects Solar projects in South Africa.

Empowering marginalised communities

The Wesley-Ciskei wind project, which will be commissioned by Riverbank Wind Power (Pty) Ltd is significant because it is the first renewable energy project located in a former homeland.

Rentia van Tonder, Head of Power and Energy at Standard Bank, says the Wesley-Ciskei wind project demonstrates the significance of renewables in empowering marginalised communities.

Beyond the impact of a ZAR 1.03 billion investment in an economically marginalised region of South Africa, the project provides an example of how rural communities can be key participants and benefit the broader economy – as suppliers of energy and attractive destinations for investment.

Diversifying South Africa’s energy supply

The Integrated Resource Plan is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the middle of August which will set the path for the future energy mix in South Africa.

Diversifying South Africa’s energy supply by expanding the contribution from renewable energy will support environmentally sustainable energy supply that provides secure and affordable energy to all South Africans.