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Red Rocket’s 240MW Virginia Solar Park in SA reaches legal close

The achievement of legal close means the project can now move towards commercial close.

Renewable energy independent power producer, Red Rocket, has reached legal close with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) on the 240MW Virginia Solar Park to be located in the Free State province of South Africa.

Red Rocket was awarded the project as part of bid window 6 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers’ Programme (REIPPPP). 

The renewable energy IPP won more than 50% of the bid window 6 REIPPPP renewable energy tender. The company will build the projects via a consortium that includes black empowerment partners, Reatile and Jade-Sky Energy, as well as local community trusts.

Red Rocket highlighted that the addition of the solar projects it won under REIPPPP bid window 6 will see its market share increase to over 1500MW of projects in operation, under construction, and under private offtake in South Africa.

The achievement of legal close for 240MW Virginia Solar Park means that power purchase agreements with state owned power utility Eskom have been signed, as well as the implementation agreement with DMRE. This paves way for Red Rocket to move the project towards commercial close. 

The renewable energy developer is currently constructing the Brandvalley, Rietkloof and Wolf wind parks, to be located in Western Cape and Eastern Cape, South Africa at a total investment of R12 billion. The projects are part of bid window 5 of South Africa’s REIPPP programme and are expected to be commissioned this year, and will add a total of 364 MW of capacity to the Eskom grid.

Red Rocket, whose backers include French infrastructure and energy investment company STOA, and Netherlands lender FMO, has invested an estimated US$1 billion in renewable energy projects across Africa.

The company recently announced that it is exploring strategic options, including a possible sale. The company hired Goldman Sachs Group to advise on the next steps for the closely held business.

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