EDF and GIBB Power have signed an agreement to develop a series of projects in the Northern Cape.
EDF and GIBB Power, a South African energy provider, are to develop three wind energy projects in South Africa, the French multinational recently announced. These are Coleskop Wind Power in the Eastern Cape and San Kraal Wind Power and Phezukomoya Wind Power, both in the Northern Cape.
EDF and GIBB Power agreement with Eskom
The EDF and GIBB Power announcement was made following agreements signed between developers and the South African government and electricity utility Eskom on Thursday 23 September. EDF has partnered with 100% black-owned firm GIBB Power to deliver the projects, which require a R11 billion (USD 0.62 billion) investment.
The projects form part of Bid Window 5 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The timeline to finalize project agreements for the 25 preferred bidders has been extended from April this year to October, the government has revealed.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, IPP Office Head Bernard Magoro said that Bid Window 5 should secure 2,583 MW. “We are engaging with Eskom to ensure we conclude the process to get capacity online as soon as possible,” said Magoro. He added that all budget quotes for the 25 projects had been issued, with the IPP Office being hopeful that the remaining 22 bidders will finalize their project agreements by end October.
Plugging a gap
Following financial close, the three EDF and GIBB Power projects will take 24 months to build and are expected to be online by December 2024. The three projects will not bring immediate relief to a country experiencing Stage 5 loadshedding at present due to a constrained national grid. However, they will plug the 4,000 MW to 6,000 MW capacity gap identified by the government in its energy action plan announced on 25 July.
In addition to the wind farms, the developers had started constructing a substation to assist in bulking up much-needed grid capacity. The substation is also an effort to ensure the projects can come online on schedule. “We are highly conscious of the time pressure to deliver power in the grid,” said Tristan de Drouas, CEO of EDF.
The Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office oversees the procurement process in South Africa. Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe has said that the National Energy Crisis Committee is streamlining the procurement process, which includes National Treasury, the Department of Public Enterprises and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.
South Africa is currently facing challenges in procuring the required components for its move to renewable power.