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    EDF Renewables ticks DMRE boxes, gets Nedbank funding to sell to Eskom

    EDF Renewables has achieved commercial and financial close on its Umoyilanga Project with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), and funder Nedbank, RMB and DBSA. This follows the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom, and the Implementation Agreement (IA) with the DMRE.
    EDF Renewables ticks DMRE boxes, gets Nedbank funding to sell to Eskom

    EDF Renewables partnered with investment company Perpetua Holdings (Pty) Ltd for the Umoyilanga project bid in the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP), in March 2021. Early works have started, and construction is now underway, with Commercial Operation Date (COD) expected in May 2025.

    Umoyilanga 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 900km apart, namely Avondale in the Northern Cape, with 115MW of solar PV and 30MW of battery storage, and Dassiesridge in the Eastern Cape, with 63MW of wind and 45MW of battery storage.

    The unique combination of wind and solar resources with batteries enables Umoyilanga to provide 75MW on demand from 05h00 to 21h30 as per the requirements of the PPA, demonstrating that renewable energy can provide reliable, dispatchable power at a competitive price.

    Hybrid power

    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 3,319kWh/household.

    Turbines for Dassiesridge will be supplied by Vestas, with Sungrow Power Supply on battery storage duty for both sites and China Energy Engineering Corporation (CEEC) in charge of final design, procurement and construction of the Avondale PV plant.

    The project has committed to providing around 890 job year opportunities for local South African citizens (measured in job years) during construction, during the construction period across Dassiesridge and Avondale, and has also committed to contributing more than 40% of the capital expenditure to local content (procurement of South African goods and services).

    Over the 20-year operational period, 1% of revenue will be dedicated to local communities through socio-economic initiatives.

    “The commercial and financial close of the project is a crucial milestone before the launch of the construction phase, so today is the achievement of a long journey. Our teams are particularly proud today, because this flagship project demonstrates that wind and solar technologies, combined with batteries, can deliver flexible power competitively," said Tristan de Drouas, CEO of EDF Renewables in South Africa.

    "We now look forward to implementing this project, and in doing so, supporting the South African Government’s and our ambitions to develop low-carbon energy solutions for the future, which will also help to solve the loadshedding crisis.”

    Perpetua Holdings director, Logan Govender 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.”

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