Solar energy provider Scatec Solar is building two photovoltaic (PV) projects that will collectively provide 115 MW under the second round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The final agreements were signed between Scatec Solar and the Department of Energy to build the PV systems in May. The agreements confirm Scatec Solar’s position as a leading PV provider in South Africa. The two plants will collectively reduce carbon emissions by 190 000 t/y and the capital investment for the two projects is about €300-million.
The project is financed by commercial bank Standard Bank and the consortium providing the equity finance consists of Scatec Solar as the majority owner, Standard Bank, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries and finance company Simacel.
The two plants, at Linde, in the Northern Cape, and at Dreunberg, in the Eastern Cape, are being developed by Scatec Solar through its South African joint venture company.
Both regions get a lot of sunlight, which allows for solar power to be generated. The two plants will produce more than 225-million kilowatt hours a year, enough to power 53 000 households.
The electricity will be fed into the local grid and sold through a 20-year power purchase agreement with State-owned power utility Eskom.
Meanwhile, Scatec Solar South Africa reports sound progress on its 75 MW Kalkbult project, in the Northern Cape, which was awarded in the first round of the REIPPPP. The Kalkbult plant is scheduled for completion in October, almost two months ahead of schedule.
“With the experience gained from the Kalkbult project, our team and partners will be even better prepared to take on the challenges of these large undertakings. We have been actively developing project opportunities in South Africa for more than three years,” says Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen.
The company uses local procurement as far as possible and construction of the two new plants will provide significant local job opportunities. The Kalkbult project pro- vided 500 jobs, ranging from technical skills to finance and project management.
A percentage of the revenue from the project dividends will be earmarked for socioeconomic development initiatives around the project site, with the primary focus on skills development and educational and health initiatives.