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Pan African gold operation receives Eskom approval to connect to grid

Pan African's Elikhulu plant.

Pan African's Elikhulu plant.

15th December 2022

By: Martin Creamer

Creamer Media Editor

     

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JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The 10 MW Elikhulu solar renewable energy plant developed at Evander gold operations has become the first embedded project over 1 MW to receive full grid code compliance from Eskom. 

This was announced at the weekend by JUWI Renewable Energies and South African mid-tier gold producer Pan African Resources, which has a gold production capacity of more than 200 000 oz of gold a year.

The grid connection follows the South African government’s decision in 2021 to raise the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW, aimed at alleviating the energy crisis by unlocking private generation capacity.

To attain grid compliance, projects need to demonstrate compliance with the renewable power plants grid connection code.

“We’re delighted that Elikhulu is the first behind-the-client metre large-scale project to get the stamp of approval from Eskom, which confirms that the project adhered to very rigorous grid connection standards,” said JUWI MD Richard Doyle.

“As the trailblazer leading the rollout of private generation by major energy users, Elikhulu will unlock significant new generation capacity and reduce pressure on the national grid, which contributes to fewer instances of loadshedding,” Doyle added in a release to Mining Weekly.

The London AIM and JSE-listed Pan African engages in widespread environmental, social and governance (ESG) promotion.

“For Pan African Resources, mining is also about sustainability and going beyond compliance, which means that  we are committed to rolling out renewable energy solutions at all our operations in South Africa,” said Pan African ESG head Barry Naicker.

“We’re grateful that the Elikhulu PV plant is online and operating efficiently, and pleased that it is the first project of its kind to be connected to the South African grid. This represents a major turning point in the country’s transition to clean energy,”  Naicker added.

When the Elikhulu plant was initiated by Pan African, the licensing threshold was 10 MW. With the further increase of the licensing threshold to 100 MW, the mining company plans to expand the plant’s output to 22 MW in 2023 to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve efficiencies, which will reduce the cost of gold production.

JUWI, which has hundreds of megawatts of similar utility scale projects in various stages of development for private energy users and mining companies, develops solar, wind and hybrid renewable energy solutions.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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