South Africa R3 still not nailed

South Africa has delayed announcing details of the preferred bidders selected under the latest stage of its renewable energy procurement programme.

A statement by the country’s Department of Energy did reveal the various allocations of capacity by technology among the 17 preferred bidders it has identified so far in the third round of the tender programme.

Of those, seven onshore wind projects account for 787MW; PV six, 450MW; CSP two, 200MW; biomass, one, 16.5MW. They have been sent letters of appointment.

However, the department indicated that the final tally is still not settled.

Its statement said: “The department has taken note of the fact that a large number of very competitive bid responses were submitted for the third bid submission date in the onshore wind and solar photovoltaic technologies, and the department is considering the appointment of additional preferred bidders for those technologies from the remaining compliant bidders.”

The energy department said 18 bidders had been identified as non-compliant from a total of 93 responses.

Reasons for the delay were not given, beyond saying that the energy minister Ben Martins  is “not currently available” to make a detailed announcement.

The minister is reportedly in the Democratic Republic of Congo on an official visit.

No new date has been set for the announcement, and the postponement will be familiar to those that have taken part in the various rounds of South Africa’s renewable energy programme.

Although widely praised for its ambition and scope, the process has been subject to various bureaucratic hitches and delays.