French power utility, Engie, has announced that it has achieved financial close on two solar power plants in South Africa. The company was awarded the projects under the country’s Bid Window Five (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).
The two solar power plants, Grootspruit PV and Graspan Solar PV, to be located in the Northern Cape and will each have a power generation of 75 megawatts (MW). The projects are being developed in collaboration with local black-owned independent power producer, Pele Green Energy.
Engie revealed that construction of the plants will begin early in 2024, and are expected to be commissioned by the end of 2025.
“I am delighted that Grootspruit, and Graspan have been successful in BW5, as ENGIE is committed to the long-term objectives of South Africa, as outlined in the National Development Plan,” said Mohamed Hoosen, Engie South Africa CEO, and Managing Director, Renewables for Asia, Middle East & Africa.
“We already operate over 1 GW of energy in the country through our assets. We are dedicated to supporting the Government’s and industry’s ambitions to transition to a lower carbon economy,” Hoosen added.
Through these two solar plants, Engie will generate up to 150 MW of electricity, and supply to state utility Eskom via a 20 year power purchase agreement. Together, the plants are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa by 100 000 tons of CO2 per year, and will contribute to meeting the electricity needs of approximately 80 000 South African households.
Gqi Raoleka, Pele Green Energy’s Managing Director commented on the milestone saying; “We are pleased about this milestone we’ve reached in this partnership with ENGIE. It is yet another significant step towards a positive contribution to the national agenda, as well as a long-term energy solution for South Africa.”
At present, Engie owns, operates and maintains two Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plants, namely Xina Solar One (100 MW) in Pofadder and Kathu Solar Park (100 MW) in Kathu.
Additionally, Engie also owns and operates an onshore wind farm West Coast 1 (94 MW), two solar photovoltaic plants Aurora and Vredendal (21 MW) and two thermal peaking power plants (670 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa). The company is also in the process of finalising the acquisition of BTE Renewables and is working towards reaching financial close on the OYA Hybrid project.