South Africa’s power utilities company, Eskom, has begun tendering processes to lease some of its lands for the development of renewable energy projects.
In December 2021, Eskom first announced plans to lease portions of its land in Mpumalanga to independent power producers of renewable energy.
The tenders were issued last Friday, according to report filed by news24.com.
The land is close to existing power stations in Mpumalanga and, therefore, is close to transmission lines.
This means Eskom will be able to provide a connection to the grid. The lease period is expected to be a minimum of 20 years. The land remains Eskom’s property for the duration of the lease.
During a briefing on stage ‘2’ load shedding, which has returned amid breakdowns at coal-fired power stations, Chief Executive André De Ruyter said the initiative is a “trial,” and there is scope for the initiative to be expanded.
Eskom is targeting 1000 MW of power, but ultimately it could go as high as 4000MW to 5000MW of renewable energy capacity from the country’s coal belt, where coal-fired power stations will eventually be retired, explained De Ruyter.
“This initiative is intended to allow investors accelerated access to our existing grid, and to enable investment in renewable energy next to our coal-fired power stations, to demonstrate our commitment to being part of the just energy transition,” De Ruyter said.
Eskom said that the leasing of the land would assist in providing relief to the constrained electricity system by getting additional generation capacity from independent power producers online.
Potential bidders have until 29 April at 10:00 to make submissions. Bidding documents are available, for free, on Eskom’s website.
Last week, the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) launched Bid Window ‘6’ of the renewable energy independent power producer programme to add 2600MW of generation capacity to the grid.
Accessing the documents requires a fee of R25 000. Bid submissions close on 11 August.