The Linde project, located in the Northern Cape region, is the second utility scale solar PV plant Scatec Solar completes under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program and the first of its two projects awarded in the second round.
“I am very pleased with my team and partners who have been able to realize this complex project on time and on budget. We have built on the experience gained from our Kalkbult project, and have broadened this with our first installation of a solar tracker system which will increase the output from the plant considerably,” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar. “Scatec Solar has for more than four years been actively developing project opportunities in South Africa, and we look forward to realize more projects for the benefit of the regions and the local communities in which we operate”
Contrary to most South African solar plants which make use of a fixed tilt system in which solar panels are mounted at a fixed inclination, the Linde project has been installed with a single axis solar tracker system. This tracking method improves the plant’s production volumes by approximately 20 % caused by the azimuth, the daily course of the sun from east to west, allowing a more efficient use of the modules
As was the case with Scatec Solar’s first South African project, the 75 MW Kalkbult plant, the Linde project has been developed by Scatec Solar through its South African joint-venture company Scatec Solar SA. The plant is located at Linde near Hanoverin the Northern Cape, a sun drenched region that boasts some of the best conditions for solar power anywhere in the world. The annual production will be approximately 94 million kWh per year and the power will be fed into the local grid and sold through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the national utility company, Eskom.
The capital investment for the project was in the range of ZAR 1,100 million and is financed through South Africa’s largest commercial bank, Standard Bank. The consortium providing the equity finance consists of Scatec Solar as the largest majority owner, Standard Bank, Old Mutual Life Assurance Company, Norfund and Simacel.
A portion of the revenue from the plant as well as the project dividends will be earmarked Socio Economic Development initiatives in the area around the project site. The primary focus will be on skills development, educational and health initiatives.