SAWEA Commits Members To Provide Additional Wind Power |
The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has engaged with its members to determine whether the sector is able to provide additional electricity, in line with recent demand for additional energy from producers of independent electricity (IPP) existing by the Ministry of Mineral Resources. and Energy (DMRE).
The additional megawatt program proposed by DMRE will see the ministry enter into agreements with existing renewable energy PPIs to procure additional energy that wind and solar farms could provide, beyond what is currently permitted in under their existing power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Ntombifuthi Ntuli, CEO of SAWEA: “We welcome this call from the government and can confirm that several of our IPP members have indicated that they would respond as they believe it is possible to run their wind turbines (WTG) at a higher power output or include a power increase to increase the output of already installed wind turbines.
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She added that the industry will seek clarification on the practical details of the additional megawatt program, but the response has been generally positive. In addition, it can be noted that at the end of 2019, when the country reached an unprecedented step 6 load shedding, SAWEA called for the immediate release of the additional capacity available from operational wind farms in the national grid, by raising the maximum export capacity (MEC) on all wind farms in operation.
“Earlier this month, the IPP office issued a call to all operational IPPs with projects in supply window one to four, to make additional capacity available from their operational factories, in order to help fill the power supply capacity gap. It is therefore encouraging to see that the industry’s proposals are taken seriously by the government and are now being implemented, ”Ntuli said.
South Africa has long been plagued by power shortages because demand exceeds available supply capacity. This despite government efforts to implement a number of programs to try to fill the capacity gap, which include the ad Preferred Bidders for the Independent Power Producer Supply Program for Risk Mitigation (RMIPPPP) and the Request for Proposals (RFP) Publication of the Independent Power Producers’ Renewable Power Supply Program (RFP) ( REIPPPP) as well as the announcement of future procurement plans.
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“Eskom’s electricity availability factor has been below recommended levels for a very long time, as evidenced by the prolonged load shedding our country has been experiencing for over a decade now. This indicates an urgent need to acquire new production capacity, both long term and short term, in order to bring available capacity back to healthy levels, ”added Ntuli.
She also said that it is clear from the response that the wind industry is committed to cooperating with the government and participating in such initiatives in order to deal with the current energy crisis.