South Africa

South African solar energy plants come online

SolarReserve has announced that two 75MW solar PV projects are now fully operational and generating renewable energy for the Eskom South African electricity grid.
South African solar energy plants come online

The Lesedi and Letsatsi projects have a total joint capacity of 150MW and are capable of supplying power to more than 130,000 South African homes as well as providing significant economic benefits to the region. As required under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP), the projects set aside a percentage of total project revenues for enterprise and socio-economic development, which will be invested for the benefit of the local communities.

The two facilities are among the largest renewable energy projects in continental Africa and are among the largest project finance transactions ever completed in South Africa. They are located in the Northern Cape and the Free State respectively and were selected by the South Africa Department of Energy (DOE) in the first round of bids under the REIPPPP. Both projects have executed 20-year power purchase agreements with Eskom.

“The social and economic benefits that these projects are imparting in South Africa today demonstrate the positive results of close cooperation between the U.S. and South African governments along with private companies in each nation” said SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith. “We look forward to continuing this positive momentum through collaboration on further projects, including concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plants.”

The facilities were developed and financed by a consortium including SolarReserve, the IDEAS Managed Fund, the Kensani Group, GCL Poly Energy Holdings and Intikon Energy.  Rand Merchant Bank, the investment banking arm of FirstRand Bank Limited, acted as Mandated Lead Arranger and Bookrunner for the projects’ debt funding requirements.

SolarReserve LLC is headquartered in Santa Monica, California. It is a developer of large-scale solar energy projects and advanced solar thermal technology and has a presence in countries all around the world with more than $1.8 billion of projects in construction and operation. It currently has an extensive 5,000 MW worldwide development portfolio of large-scale solar projects, including some featuring advanced solar thermal technology (CSP) and others utilizing photovoltaic (PV) technology.

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