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Energy minister gives deadline for signing IPP contracts

As the country diversifies its energy mix away from an over-reliance on coal-power plants to include greener wind and solar projects.
Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko “Nkhensani” Kubayi (left) sworn in by Justice Sisi Khampepe (right). Photo supplied.

South Africa’s energy minister has given state-run power utility Eskom until the end of October to sign renewable energy agreements with independent power producers (IPPs), the energy department said on Friday.

South Africa, which was hit by supply shortages in 2015 that led to rolling power cuts, is diversifying its energy mix away from an over-reliance on coal-power plants to include greener wind and solar projects.

Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, who postponed the signing of agreements in April, said the power producer must ensure all contracts are in place to sign by Oct. 28.

“It’s regrettable that we took so long as government,” Kubayi said.

She said most of the projects would be commissioned “closer to 2021”. Kubayi did not provide other details such as how many megawatts of power the IPPs are expected to produce.

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