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juwi switches on the Waterloo solar PV farm in the North West

The project is part of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme

Cape Town – South African renewable energy engineering, procurement and construction contractor juwi Renewable Energies (Pty) Ltd switched on the Waterloo solar PV farm in the North West province of South Africa this week. The 75MW project will feed clean renewable electricity into the national grid every year for 20 years, enough to power more than 84 000 homes. This is the third large scale renewable energy project to reach commercial operations this year in the North West province. 

Ownership of the Waterloo Solar PV facility

The Waterloo Solar PV farm is owned by a consortium that includes the African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments) through its IDEAS Fund, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty) Ltd, AREP (African Rainbow Energy and Power) and Cicada Community Trust.

At the peak of construction, over 500 people, mostly from the surrounding local beneficiary communities, were directly employed.  This is in addition to the employment created through the contracting out of various services

The solar farm sits on a 171-hectare site, 10 km outside of Vryburg, in the North West province. The project was constructed in under two years, having commenced mid-February 2019.  It is connected to Eskom’s Mookodi switching station, which feeds the generated power into the country’s national grid. The facility will be operated and maintained by the juwi on behalf of the owners for the first five year of operations.

Positive societal impact 

In addition to producing clean renewable energy, rural communities located within a 50 km radius of the plant will benefit through impactful economic development programmes. The 100% South African owned facility will invest in local communities of Vryburg, Kismet Park, Huhudi, Colridge and Dithakwaneng through various social development programmes.

Additionally, a percentage of the revenue generated each year will be committed to implementing Enterprise Development initiatives, to build resilience and accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial businesses, ultimately stimulating local economic growth and creating opportunities for the economic participation of previously disadvantaged groups. The focus is on small and micro enterprises, designed to enhance growth. To deliver on this objective, the establishment of a local resource centre, for use by local SMMEs and communities at large, will support this drive to aid development, whilst the provision of accredited skills training will be provided to start-up businesses.

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