SA signs renewable energy contracts with IPP

The signing of power purchase agreements for the 27 mostly solar and wind projects was held up for over two years under ousted president Jacob Zuma.

The solar PV farm is made up of 1960 solar panels and will produce almost 1 million kilowatts of electricity each year. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has signed long-delayed renewable energy contracts worth about R55 billion with independent power producers (IPP) in the first major investment deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The signing of power purchase agreements for the 27 mostly solar and wind projects was held up for over two years under ousted president Jacob Zuma, who favoured a plan to build additional nuclear power plants.

It was also the subject of a last-minute legal challenge by labour union Numsa and Transform RSA lobby group, but a court rejected their application for an urgent interdict last week.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe says the utility is introducing the new producers carefully.

“The manner in which we bring on board this projects needs to be synchronised in a way that as you put them on, you also have to take into account the fact that Eskom has excess capacity. But I’m sure that matter will be clarified once the Departments of Energy and Public Enterprises and National Treasury have addressed this matter.”