South Africa awards clean energy projects to 17 firms

wind farmThe South Africa Department of Energy has awarded 1,500MW of clean energy projects to 17 companies through a tendering process, with the aim of reducing its reliance on coal for power generation

According to Bloomberg, the Department of Energy has selected seven bids for onshore wind farms that would generate 787MW of energy, six companies to build photovoltaic parks that would generate 450MW of power, one firm for a 16.5MW biomass project, one other firm for a 18MW landfill gas project and two companies for 200MW solar projects.

The winners include Dublin-based Mainstream Renewable Power that would develop three onshore wind farms worth US$912mn and a total capacity of 360MW, and Spain's Abengoa, who will develop a 100MW solar power plant. Both projects will be situated in Northern Cape.

The Department of Energy said it was still evaluating more bids and would award some energy projects by 20 November 2013.

Earlier this year, the South African government had announced that the country planned on generating 3,725MW of clean energy by end of 2016, which could help utility body Eskom meet increasing consumer demand.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance data, US$5.7bn worth of investments were made in clean-energy projects in the country last year, through twenty-year power-purchase agreements with Eskom.

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