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South Africa

NOA Group acquires 350MW in solar projects in the Free State

NOA’s latest acquisition brings its total grid-secured assets to around 500MW.

South African renewable energy IPP and aggregator, NOA Group, has completed the acquisition of the 350MW Khauta Solar PV Facility from Germany’s PNE. The project is set to be constructed near Welkom in the Free State province of South Africa, with financial close expected to be achieved in Q4 2024.

NOA announced that its latest acquisition brings its total grid-secured assets to around 500MW, marking an advancement in its portfolio and a step closer to achieving its target to reach 5GW in renewable energy assets by 2030.

Furthermore, the commercial and industrial sector focused IPP plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio with the backing of its shareholders that includes Africa’s leading infrastructure investor, AIIM Africa and other key stakeholders.

“With $180 million in equity financing already secured for development, we are scaling our operations, which includes an extensive pipeline of projects. By the end of this year, we expect to have approximately 450 MW of our fleet of renewable energy facilities under construction,” said Karel Cornelissen, CEO of NOA Group.

NOA portfolio expansion plans

NOA highlighted that the Khauta project is not only a significant addition to its portfolio, but also marks its inaugural venture into utility-scale solar PV facilities. The company indicated that the acquisition underscores its role as an energy aggregator capable of generating, wheeling, and selling clean electricity nationwide to clients across the country to various commercial and industrial sector clients.

“This aligns with recent reforms in our country’s electricity market, which have accelerated over the past two years, fostering competition among electricity suppliers and highlighted by the release of a draft market code as part of the evolving wholesale electricity market framework,” added Cornelissen.

These projects are situated outside the REDZ 5, primarily located in the Free State, with the overhead line (OHL) connecting to the Leander Substation within Eskom’s transmission corridor.

The Khauta cluster is one of the largest in the Free State, a region that has recently drawn significant interest, with several large clusters nearing commercialisation. This interest is largely due to improved grid access—a challenge in other green energy hotspots like the Northern Cape, where capacity is reaching its limits.

NOA will lead the drive to Financial Close of these projects, supported by WKN Windcurrent and PNE, the project developers. This critical phase will require intensive collaboration to ensure that the commercial elements of the projects align seamlessly with the development efforts already in place.

“We are close to finalising the selection of the EPC contractor and OEMs. With ongoing support from the developers, we are advancing the project towards financial close, aligning our commercial goals with the substantial groundwork already laid,” concluded Cornelissen.

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