Consortium signs agreements for S Africa solar projects

14th April 2023

Leading renewable energy company Mainstream and its consortium Ikamva will be advancing six solar photovoltaic (PV) projects in South Africa – with a combined capacity of 450 MW.

This has been secured in Round 5 of South Africa's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) towards financial close now that key implementation and 20-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) are in place.

The projects developed by Mainstream will generate enough low-cost electricity to power around a quarter of the Free State province’s peak electricity demand.  

Mainstream regional GM Hein Reyneke notes the investment in jobs and communities has flowed from Mainstream's 15-year track record of project delivery in South Africa.

R9-billion investment will create about 1 800 jobs for South African citizens during construction and provide a further 42 permanent jobs during the 20-year operating period. Moreover, around 45% of the projects’ value will comprise local South Africa content.

The consortium signed 20-year PPAs and Implementation Agreements with State-owned utility Eskom and the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), respectively, significant milestones in advancing the projects towards financial close in 2023 and commercial operations in 2025.

All six solar projects are located in the Tokologo municipality in the Free State and will be the province’s largest renewable energy development. When fully operational, 1.8% of the revenue from each of the projects will be committed towards economic development related activities for nearby local communities.

The power generated from the projects will avoid the release of about 1.3-million tons of carbon dioxide (C02) yearly.

The consortium is also progressing six wind projects with a combined capacity of 824 MW, which it was awarded in Round 5. 

Commenting on the signing of the agreements Reyneke further says, "Mainstream’s 150-strong, proudly South African team has the honour of having developed and built the country’s first wind and solar farms in Round 1.”

"Our unwavering commitment to South Africa over the last 15 years has seen the company build 15% of the country’s wind and solar PV generation capacity under the REIPPPP. In doing this, we have helped create thousands of jobs for South Africans and invested in excess of R180-million in local communities to date.

"The team’s dedication to the country, coupled with the solid track record, underpins Mainstream’s commitment to delivering its Round 5 projects, and many more in the decades to come.

“Mainstream is the most successful company in the history of South Africa’s renewable energy procurement programme, with over 2.1 GW awarded to date. This includes 850 MW of wind and solar generation assets that Mainstream has already delivered into commercial operation across Rounds 1, 3 and 4 of the REIPPPP,” Reyneke concludes.