To facilitate the generation of independent renewable energy, Eskom has 18 auctions marketed in April to provide independent power producers with access to vacant lots with direct access to the country’s grid. I have identified a successful bid.

The land owned by Eskom is located around the coal-fired power plant in Mpumalanga. The state-owned power company owns about 36,000 ha in the state, and this first bid made 4,000 ha of this land available to independent renewable energy producers.

In an exclusive interview with Business Day, Eskom CEO André de Ruyter said the process was a “great success” and “very happy with the results.”

“There were 21 highly credible bidders for the 18 plots of land that became available for bidding. Currently, each of the 18 sites has a successful bid and there are two or three backup bids. . “

The winning bidder will be announced within a few days. Each project consists of 100 MW of renewable energy generation from solar or wind power.

All development costs must be borne by the winning bidder, and Escom makes some money from renting the land.

“We would like to conclude a land lease agreement with the winning bidder by August. This will add 1,800 MW to the grid and provide it to taxpayers free of charge or require a guarantee from the national treasury. It will be, “said De Ruyter.

“Each project needs to undergo an environmental impact assessment before starting construction. This usually takes about 18 months, but we would be grateful if we could get support from the environmental department to accelerate the process. . “

The initiative showed that it would create “a very positive impact on the liberalization of the energy sector” and that this would create an opportunity to “utilize the willingness of private capital to invest in power generation capacity with grid access,” De Ruyter said. I am saying.

Eskom does not have a power purchase agreement with the winning bidder. Instead, the generated power runs across the grid, but Eskom did not require “transparency in marketing arrangements.”

“It’s up to them who sells that power, but some developers are aware that they are in contact with very large power consumers and have power purchase agreements with those power users. There is no doubt that they will conclude. In the process, they will reduce the pressure on the Escom power system, “Derouter said.

The state power company plans to make additional lots available in due course, but DeRuyter was unable to confirm the date of the new bid round.

erasmusd@businesslive.co.za


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