17 renewable energy projects, valued at $3.3 billion, received the go-ahead out of 93 bids. In total, 1.5 gigawatts (GW) of projects are approved: seven wind, six solar PV, two concentrating solar, one landfill gas and one biomass.
China Longyuan Power Group will develop 244 megawatts (MW) across two wind farms.
Close behind it is a 100 MW solar concentrating plant to be built by Abengoa, which recently went public on Nasdaq (ABGB). Xina Solar One will have 5-hour energy storage and combined with its 100 MW KaXu Solar One, which is under construction, will be the biggest solar complex in Africa.
It makes use of parabolic trough technology:
A consortium led by Mainstream Renewable Power will build three wind projects totaling 360 MW, and will come online next year. That’s in addition to 238 MW awarded in the first round of bids.
With a development pipeline of 19 GW, Mainstream recently closed a €100 million equity investment with Japanese Trading House Marubeni Corporation.
US-based SolarReserve won a bid in the previous round.
The consortium behind these projects now hold a 20% share in South Africa’s solar market.
Earlier this year, Johannesburg-based Standard Bank Group and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China agreed to jointly finance projects that win bids in the program.
The program is intended to quickly boost renewable energy in the country while weaning it off coal, which supplies 85% of its electricity. 3.7 GW of renewables will be added by the end of 2016 after the five bidding rounds are completed.
Last year, investors poured $5.7 billion into South Africa renewable energy projects, which have 20 year power-purchase agreements with the utility, Eskom, reports Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Because of this program, South Africa is showing the most rapid clean energy growth in the world.