South Africa issues RFP for 616-MW of BESS capacity

By Elena Kachkova in Johannesburg April 8, 2024

South Africa's Department of Mineral Resource and Energy (DMRE) has announced the launch of the third bid window (BW3) of the Battery Energy Storage Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (BESIPPPP).

The tender is for a total of 616 MW/2,464 MWh of battery energy storage system (BESS) capacity, the DMRE said in a press statement on April 2. The government has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for BESS capacity to be integrated into five substations operated by state-owned power utility Eskom.

These substations (Harvard, Leander, Theseus, Everest, and Merapi) are located in the Free State province, the DMRE said. Interested parties have until July 31 to submit their applications.

In the same statement, the DMRE has extended submission deadlines for the second bidding window of BESIPPPP and the seventh bidding window of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to June 6 and May 30, respectively.

Furthermore, the department has announced an appointment of the 5th preferred bidder under the BESIPPPP BW1. The first four preferred bidders were announced by the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe on November 30, 2023.

At the time, the minister indicated that the department would enter into further value-for-money negotiations with one more eligible bidder in order to appoint a preferred bidder for the fifth substation. According to the statement, South Africa-based AGV Projects has clinched the fifth and final project for that bid window.

The company is the developer of the project that is now owned by an independent power producer (IPP) Globeleq, Renewables Now reports. Valued at ZAR 6.43bn ($343.8mn), the scheme entails the installation of 153 MW/612 MWh of storage capacity through the Red Sands BESS project at the Garona substation.

Globeleq anticipates this to become the largest standalone battery in Africa. The financial closing is expected later this year, with construction projected to span 24 months.

BESIPPPP BW1, launched in March 2023, aimed to allocate 513 MW of BESS projects with five pre-selected grid-connection points in the Northern Cape Province. It is the first largest utility-scale energy storage programme ever implemented in South Africa executed by the Independent Power Producer Office (IPPO) under the stewardship of the DMRE.

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