The South African Department of Energy has awarded Scatec Solar preferred bidder status for three solar power projects under the country’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme.
The projects will have a combined nominal capacity of 258 MW, enlarging Scatec Solar’s asset base by 60 percent. The three solar power plants will be built on directly adjacent sites located in Upington in the Northern Cape region, where they will effectively become one of the largest solar parks in the world.
Scatec Solar will build, own and operate the solar power plants with a 42 percent shareholding. Norfund - the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries- will hold 18 percent of the equity, while the balance will be held by a Trust channeling dividends from the projects to economic development initiatives in the local communities.
“We are very impressed by the great determination by the South African government to use large scale renewables to strengthen power supply in the country” said Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen. “With this award, the people of South Africa will access more clean, reliable and cost competitive electricity in many years to come.”
The award of the project positions Scatec Solar as one of the leading solar independent power producers (IPP) in Africa. The company intends to build on this success by developing a significant project pipeline across the African continent.
Project financing has already been arranged as part of the bid preparations and financial close is expected later this year. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2017 to align with the timeline of required grid construction activities in the area.
Currently Scatec Solar holds a gross total portfolio of 427 MW in operation and under construction. With this project award, the company will increases its asset base by 60 percent through another 258 MW of projects with secured power purchase agreements in project backlog. It also has a solid project pipeline of more than 400 MW across Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia.