EDF Renewables achieved Legal Close on its Umoyilanga Project on 30 August 2023, with the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom, and the Implementation Agreement (IA) with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, for the hybrid renewable power facility to be built in South Africa.
Legal Close follows in the wake of the consortium of leading international renewable energy supplier, EDF Renewables, and privately held investment company Perpetua Holdings (Pty) Ltd, winning the Umoyilanga project bid in the South African Government’s Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMI4P), in March 2021. Early works have started, Financial Close is expected to be achieved by the second half of October 2023, and the construction period under the PPA is expected to start immediately thereafter, with COD expected in May 2025.
This innovative project combines solar, wind and battery storage technologies to offer dispatchable and reliable power to the national electrical grid. The project will operate as a virtual power plant, combining generation from two sites which are 900 km apart, namely Avondale in the Northern Cape, with 115 MW of solar PV and 30 MW of battery storage, and Dassiesridge in the Eastern Cape, with 63 MW of wind and 45 MW of battery storage.
Following the signature of the PPA with Eskom for the Umoyilanga Project, EDF Renewables also signed a turnkey EPC Agreement with China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC), to proceed with the final design, procurement and construction of the 115 MW Avondale PV plant.
The unique combination of wind and solar resources with batteries, enables Umoyilanga to provide 75 MW on demand from 05:00 to 21:30 as per the requirements of the PPA, and demonstrates that renewable energy can provide reliable, dispatchable power at a competitive price.
To achieve this, batteries at Dassiesridge will generally charge from the wind energy at night, discharging power in the morning until the sun rises. The solar installation at Avondale will supply the bulk of the energy during the day, supplemented by wind energy from Dassiesridge. Excess solar energy will be used to charge the batteries at Avondale, which will discharge after sunset. A sophisticated energy management system will give instructions to assets across both sites to optimise the power supply in real time, depending on weather forecasts and Eskom’s requirements.The low-carbon electricity produced will help to meet the electricity needs of 120 000 households for 20 years, based on the Eskom residential consumption average of 3 319 kWh/household.
The project has committed to providing around 450 full-time jobs to local, South African citizens, during the construction period. Furthermore, the project has committed to contributing approximately 40% of the capital expenditure to local content (procurement of South African goods and services). Over the 20 year operational period, 1.2% of revenue will be dedicated to local communities through socio-economic initiatives.
Tristan de Drouas, CEO of EDF Renewables in South Africa, said: “The signing of the PPA with Eskom is a crucial milestone before financial close and the launch of the construction phase. Our teams in Gqeberha and Cape Town have been working very hard, so today’s legal closing is the achievement of a long journey. We look forward to realising this project in South Africa, supporting the government’s and our ambitions to develop low-carbon energy solutions for the future, and to help to solve the loadshedding crisis. Just a few days after the BRICS’ Summit, we’re delighted to say that we are present in most of the organisation member states, namely in Brazil (1,5 GW), India (1,2 GW), China (1,3 GW) and South Africa (425 MW), bringing our expertise for facing their energy transition needs.”
Logan Govender, Perpetua Holdings director, added: “We have forged a solid collaboration and true sense of partnership with EDF Renewables on this project and we are excited by the innovative and high impact contribution that we are collectively confident it will deliver to South Africa.”