Cape Town opens bidding process for IPPs to procure 300 megawatts of electricity

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Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has announced that they’ve opened the bidding process for Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to procure 300 megawatts of electricity. He was speaking at the Solar Power Africa Conference at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Hill-Lewis says electricity procured from IPPs will help to provide an affordable and reliable network of electricity. He says the City of Cape Town will consider a range of proposals, now that the City has opened bidding process for IPPs for the procurement of 300 megawatts of electricity.

“This is an open ended procurement round. We’ve set the cap at roughly 300 megawatts and if that is just three projects of 100 megawatts. As you know there has to be a 100 megawatt cap that we’ve spoken about, or it could be five projects of 60 megawatts. We will see what the proposals are from the market,” says Hill-Lewis.

Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe who also briefed the summit, says manufacturing in the renewable energy sector should play a key role in creating jobs. Mantashe says more than 37 000 job opportunities were already created through solar power projects by September last year.

“Manufacturing in this sector must have a significant presence in South Africa. We can’t import for this sector to thrive, because if we do that, it means that we are consuming the product, but we are creating employment somewhere else when we need it here. So manufacturing should be a point of emphasis,” says Mantashe.

Gender empowerment

Chairperson of the South African Wind Energy Association, Mercia Grimbeek says more skills development programmes are needed for women who work in the renewable energy sector. She says women who work in the sector can perform key roles in middle and senior management structures in renewable energy companies, if they receive the right training.

She was speaking during a plenary session at the conference. The theme of the session was gender empowerment in the renewable energy sector. Grimbeek says the role of women needs to be advanced in the sector.

“We are launching the Gender Diversity Charter, which really is aligned to the Ministerial Advisory Committee on gender and through that we will be looking at various interactions, between ourselves and the other associations to have leadership courses, dialogues and really advance the role of women in the industry,” says Grimbeek.

The conference will be running until Friday.

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