Energy Dept: IPPs could provide emergency electricity supply within year

The department said the eight preferred bidders would inject a total private sector investment amount of R45 billion into the South African economy.

FILE: The Department of Energy wants to purchase 2,000 megawatts of power through the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Independent Power Producers, including power ships, could be providing emergency electricity supply within a year.

That’s according to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy that briefed Parliament on Tuesday.

The department said the eight preferred bidders would inject a total private sector investment amount of R45 billion into the South African economy.

The Department of Energy wants to purchase 2,000 megawatts of power through the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.

It will procure new generation capacity from a range of source technologies like solar, wind, gas and battery storage to address the electricity capacity supply gap and load shedding.

The department’s Jacob Mbele said these projects could be up and running in a year: “These projects are generally ready. And these projects can be brought online in the time span of about 12 to 18 months. But because these are greenfield projects, they would require a long term power purchase agreement similar to what we do with renewable energy independent power producer programme.”

However, members of the committee have questioned the viability of power ships that will be moored off the coast.

They’ve also objected to the long term 20-year contracts the department is looking at signing.

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