The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has announced a partnership with SolarReserve and ACWA Power to develop the 100MW Redstone Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in Northern Cape, South Africa. The agreement is from Secretary John Kerry’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum and is recognizing OPIC’s US$400 million commitment of debt financing to support the development.
The 100MW Redstone project is a clean energy facility that will be connected to the South African national grid. Using SolarReserve's CSP technology, Redstone's molten salt storage capability will deliver consistent baseload electricity, even after the sun sets. This is a critical development in a country where frequent power outages have been cited as an obstacle to economic growth.
OPIC support to the Redstone project marks President Obama's Power Africa initiative, of which OPIC is a key contributor. Power Africa aims to bring new power access to the more than 600 million sub-Saharan Africans currently living without energy access.
"The development of the Redstone project will benefit the South African people, the international clean energy sector, and the role of U.S. leadership in emerging market development," said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC's President and CEO. "It's impressive that Redstone brings together the innovative U.S. private sector leadership and technology of SolarReserve, the international experience of ACWA, and large-scale catalytic financing from OPIC. This sort of change-making partnership is at the heart of President Obama's Power Africa initiative and creates broad, lasting impact in international development."
OPIC's financing to the Redstone project helps fulfill both the U.S. commitment to clean energy in the developing world as well as South Africa's own goals through their Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), which aims to add 3,725 MW of clean power to South Africa's energy generation mix.