Independent renewable-energy consultants 3E would, next month, host construction-monitoring seminars to highlight the potential risks involved in the development of large wind and solar power projects.
The seminars, which would be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town on March 4 and 6 respectively, were aimed at the various stakeholders currently involved in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
“The first round of REIPPPP projects is now in the construction phase with many stakeholders involved. Through these seminars, 3E will provide risk-related context for significant role-players, based on the extensive experience 3E has gained through consulting for many renewables projects worldwide. These projects are a first for South Africa and there is no point in reinventing the wheel,” said 3E South Africa MD Richard Doyle.
South Africa was becoming a significant player in the renewable-energy sector globally and the REIPPPP projects were the first of this scale to be built in this sector.
“Because there is little precedent locally, stakeholders are under pressure, as they are unsure of what to expect during this construction period.
“The whole sector has suddenly evolved from being virtual to real construction challenges. The 3E seminars will show what can go wrong and what the risks involved with undertaking these large wind and solar power projects are.
“The seminars will allow stakeholders to know better that they are dealing with the right partners and be informed about the risks involved in wind and solar projects,” explained Doyle.
He noted that stakeholders needed reassurance that their investment would become a reality. Developers would employ technical advisers to do construction monitoring to ensure that engineering, procurement and construction contractors were adhering to the agreed terms with regard to construction.
“[These] seminars are there to guide stakeholders through these questions, consider the issues pertaining to project specifications and check compliance with materials specification and design, civil engineering, electrical engineering and logistics,” he concluded.