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Lephalale solar photovoltaic project, South Africa – update

Image of sod-turning at the Lephalale solar project

Photo by ©Creamer Media

24th November 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Lephalale solar photovoltaic (LSP) project.

Location
Near Lephalale, in Limpopo, South Africa.

Project Owner/s
Exxaro Resources renewable-energy subsidiary Cennergi.

Project Description
The project will be one of the biggest private offtake solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities of its kind in Africa.

It will comprise 129 000 solar panels, imported from China, as South Africa's solar industry does not currently have the economies of scale to supply the required panels.

The project is being executed in two phases.

Phase 1 involves the construction of a 68 MW solar PV plant that will generate 176 GWh/y of energy to supply Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine, which will provide 30% of the operation’s power needs and a 26% reduction in the mine’s Scope 2 emissions when all power generated is used.

In Phase 2, storage is expected to be added.

The project will be designed for future expansion.

Potential Job Creation
The project aims to employ between 300 to 400 people during peak construction, with a focus on local procurement.

Capital Expenditure
R1.56-billion, which is being funded in part by Exxaro, with the balance financed by Standard Bank and Nedbank.   

Planned Start/End Date
The project is set to be completed early in the second quarter of 2025.

Latest Developments
Construction has started. Exxaro Resources and Cennergi unveiled the LSP project on November 16 during the sod-turning ceremony.

The project is a utility-scale, behind-the-meter solar PV plant.

The project has been lauded as the start of Exxaro’s self-generation and organic growth aspiration as part of implementing its Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Cennergi, email info@cennergi.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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