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Scatec Solar Grid-Connects South Africa’s First Renewable IPP Project

Scatec Solar was awarded the Kalkbult project under the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP).

Scatec Solar, the global solar energy provider, had its 75 MW solar PV plant, Kalkbult, in the Northern Cape region connected to the regional grid Friday, three months ahead of schedule, making the power plant the first REIPPPP project to be grid connected and operational in South Africa.

Scatec Solar was awarded the Kalkbult project under the first round of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). The construction commenced immediately after the financial close in November last year. The completed plant consists of more than 312 000 solar panels mounted on 156 km of substructure, inverters, transformers and a HV sub-station. The power from the grid-connected PV plant will be sold through a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom, the national utility company.

– I am very proud of our staff and contractors who have been able to complete this substantial project three months ahead of schedule, demonstrating how swiftly utility-scale solar energy plants could be built and put in operation, Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar said. – South African authorities are committed to implementing an ambitious renewable energy program, and we find great satisfaction in being able to contribute to its success through our own projects which we have actively been developing in South Africa over the last four years. This country boasts some of the best conditions for solar power in the world and the annual output of 135 million kWh produced at the Kalkbult plant will benefit both the region and the local community in which we operate, Mr. Carlsen said.

The annual production of 135 million kWh is enough to cover the electricity demand of 33 000 South African households, and is representing CO2 abatements of almost 115 000 tons per year.

The capital investment for the project is financed through South Africa’s largest commercial bank, Standard Bank. The consortium providing the equity finance consists of Scatec Solar as the largest owner, Norfund, Simacel, Stanlib/Standard Bank, and Old Mutual Life Assurance Company.

Scatec Solar has been awarded a total of three projects under the REIPPP with total capacity of 190 MW. Construction of the next two projects located in the Northern and Eastern Cape has started and completion is expected by mid-next year.

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