PPAs Signed for Three Co-Located Solar & Storage Projects in South Africa

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Power purchase agreements (PPAs) for three co-located solar & storage projects in South Africa have been signed according to Scatec, a Norwegian company that specializes in renewable energy systems.

Featuring 540MW of solar PV and 1.1GWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity, the project, which was bought via the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme will generate from 5 a.m. to 9.30 p.m and provide 150MW of dispatchable energy resources to grid operator ESKOM in order to assist mitigate capacity deficits on the grid (RMIPPPP).

The BESS will allow for more flexible energy dispatch and will allow ESKOM and Scatec to lower the amount of the grid link required to incorporate the additional resources. The projects are the first totally renewable resources to be awarded PPAs under the RMIPPPP procurement and will supply electricity over a 20-year period.

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Financial closing is expected within 60 days of the PPA signature date (2 June), and construction will commence shortly thereafter; however, no specific commissioning date has been specified. However, when Scatec which will handle the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC), operation and maintenance (O&M), and asset management was selected as the preferred bidder, the resources were scheduled to be operational by the middle of this year.

The ownership of the Three Co-Located Solar & Storage Projects in South Africa

Scatec will control 51% of the project’s stock, with H1 Holdings, its local Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner, owning the other 49%. BEE is a government initiative that aims to increase the economic involvement of the black community in order to address the persisting injustices of apartheid.

According to consultancy Clean Horizon‘s analyst Corentin Baschet, gas resources were the largest winner in RMIPPPP, however,r up to 430MW/1,300MWh of energy storage proved successful. The South African government is also attempting to increase grid storage through other programs.

The Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), a distinct ESKOM initiative, is purely for renewable energy resources, and the two programs together are estimated to add around 1GW of storage to the South African grid. In March of the current year, 200MW/832MWh of standalone BESS projects at eight REIPPPP locations were in the final stages of pre-contract negotiations.

According to Adam Terry, technical director of Harmattan Renewables, an even larger wave of procurement is scheduled to begin in the coming months, which is working with IPPs on projects in the nation. According to Eskom, the standalone assets will provide national peak shaving services for four hours per day and supplementary services and local support.