Scatec Solar, the global developer and turn-key supplier of solar PV (photo voltaic) solutions, has been selected as a preferred bidder for a 75 MW project during the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program. A PV plant of this size will be amongst the largest to date in Africa. Construction will commence by July 2012 and the plant will be in commercial operation by August 2013.
- We are very pleased to have been awarded the opportunity to realize this 75 MW PV plant in South Africa, Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar said. – Our experienced team has for the past two years been actively developing project opportunities in this promising market, and we will build on our extensive knowledge base from successfully completed projects all over the world when we now devote ourselves to pioneer South Africa’s renewable energy industry by constructing the first of a series of utility scale solar parks in the country, Mr. Carlsen said.
This substantial PV project has been developed by Scatec Solar through its South African joint-venture company Scatec Solar SA. The plant will be located in Kalkbult in the sun drenched Northern Cape region that boasts some of the best conditions for solar power anywhere in the world. Covering an area of 105 ha, comparable to about 140 football fields, the plant will produce in excess of 145 million kWh annually, enough to cover the electricity demand of 35 000 South African households. The power will be fed into the local grid network and sold through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the local utility company, Eskom. Harvesting solar power through this plant represents CO2 abatements of approx 125 000 tons per year.
The capital investment for the project is in the range of € 200 million and will be financed through South Africa’s largest commercial bank, Standard Bank. The consortium providing the equity finance consists of Scatec Solar as the majority owner, Standard Bank, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company and Simacel.
Scatec Solar has for the past two years been actively working in the highly promising South African market in anticipation of the support scheme for renewable energy, which was the launched this August. These development efforts have materialized into a substantial pipeline of projects across South Africa.
The local value creation of the 75 MW project will be substantial. The construction of the plant will provide significant local job opportunities and there is also a commitment in terms of utilizing local content to stimulate the nascent South African renewable industry. - Scatec Solar and its contractors will provide the requisite training, certifications and follow-up to a predominantly unskilled work force to assure that needed skills are developed locally, said Jed Borrill, Managing Director of Scatec Solar SA.
A certain part of the revenue from the park as well as the project dividends will be earmarked on Socio Economic Development initiatives in the area around the project site where the primary focus will be on skills development, Educational and Health initiatives.