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The platform will operate through energy wheeling.

South Africa

SA insurer Discovery launches renewables trading platform

The platform will aggregate power demand from corporations and match it with renewable supply. 

In a groundbreaking move for South Africa’s renewable energy sector, leading insurance and financial services company, Discovery Ltd, this week launched Discovery Green, a renewable energy trading platform that connects businesses to renewable energy.

Amid a perpetuating power crisis, South African businesses are now exploring alternative energy sources to sustain their operations, with most businesses turning to solar and wind. 

The Discovery Green platform, launched by Discovery’s CEO Adrian Gore this Wednesday will aggregate power demand from corporations and match it with renewable supply. 

Discovery says the newly launched platform allows companies to avoid the potential pitfalls of contracting for a certain amount of output from a renewable energy plant, but then occasionally paying for output that isn’t actually needed. 

Discovery’s boss Adrian Gore highlighted that its renewables platform would be “in the middle of the market, creating a real model between buyers and sellers”.

Additionally, the platform will leverage its actuarial and technical skills to match supply and demand, providing long-term contract certainty.

The platform by the insurance giant will operate through energy wheeling, utilising South Africa’s power grid. 

South Africa’s National Transmission Company of South Africa (NTC) recently got the greenlight from the regulator NERSA, paving the way for the splitting of Eskom’s transmission business from the power generation business. This establishment of the NTC is expected to create a competitive liquid power trading market in Africa’s most industrialised nation.

“We’ve set the goal and are in the process of procuring between 400MW and 1GW worth of renewable energy to plug in as the first phase of this platform,” Andre Nepgen, head of Discovery Green, said during the launch event on Wednesday.

“Of course if demand follows, we are excited, and happy, and ready, with the sites to do a lot more,” Nepgen added.

Discovery revealed that they have partnerships with bluechip companies like Sun International, Woolworths, Clicks, Virgin Active, Planet Fitness and Life Healthcare, who will utilise the platform to source renewable energy. Additionally, financial services company RMB will act as the investment banker.

“By procuring between 400MW and 1GW of wind and solar energy from a curated list of leading local and international Independent Power Producers (IPP), the platform will stimulate an investment of about R20-R25bn in the energy infrastructure of the country (enough to establish 2700 rugby fields of solar farms or 200-250 wind turbines),” said Discovery.

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