British mining company Anglo American and French renewable project developer EDF Renewables have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop a “regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE)” in South Africa. Specifically, 3-5GW of renewable generation and energy storage will be set up over the next decade to power Anglo American’s business operations in the country. The signing of the memorandum was announced by Anglo American on March 18, and the story has been picked up by various news agencies.
Anglo American said that its business operations in South America are now wholly powered by renewable electricity. However, its business operations in South Africa now constitute the second largest source of its Scope 2 emissions. The development of the RREE is expected to transition Anglo American’s business operations in South Africa to 100% renewables by 2030. The mining company currently estimates that renewables will account for 56% of its overall electricity supply by 2023. It aims to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its business operations by 2040.
The partnership between Anglo American and EDF Renewables will lead to the development of 3-5GW of solar PV, wind power, and energy storage. The projects may be on-site or next to the mining and production facilities, or off-site as independent power plants.
In its press release, Anglo American also said that the development of the RREE will be funded through equity financing with a number of investors. Furthermore, the RREE is touted as a scheme that complements the South American government’s Just Energy Transition Partnership. Unveiled in November 2021, this long-term partnership program draws support from other countries including France, Germany, the UK, and the US. Furthermore, the program has a commitment of USD 8.5 billion for the initial financing of renewable projects in South Africa.
Commenting on the launch of the RREE, EDF Group said that the projects that its subsidiary EDF Renewables will be jointly developing with Anglo American are part of the group’s CAP 2030 strategy. EDF Group has set the target of doubling its installed renewable generation capacity (including hydropower) from 28GW in 2015 to 60GW in 2030.