South Africa has reached a financial close of four out of the 27 renewable energy projects which signed power purchase agreements with Eskom and is being backed by Standard Bank, representing a combined investment of US $491m.
The four projects already closed which fall under South Africa Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) include; the Sirius, Dyasons Klip 1 and Dyasons Klip 2 solar projects in the Northern Cape and the Wesley-Ciskei wind project in the former Ciskei region of the Eastern Cape Province.
Standard Bank is the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and hedge provider of seven of the total 27 projects which have signed power purchase agreements with Eskom. The remaining projects have until end July to reach financial close.
The four projects are expected to add 258 MW of renewable energy to South Africa’s national grid. The three Northern Cape solar projects, being constructed by Norway’s Scatec Solar ASA were among the first projects to reach financial close in the current round of the REIPPPP process. Once commissioned Scatec will have a portfolio of 6 projects Solar projects in South Africa.
Empowering marginalized communities
Moreover, the Wesley-Ciskei wind project which will be commissioned by Riverbank Wind Power (Pty) Ltd, is significant because it is the first renewable energy project located in a former homeland. Rentia van Tonder, Head of Power and Energy at Standard Bank, said the wind project demonstrates the significance of renewable energy in empowering marginalized communities.
“The project provides an example of how rural communities can be key participants and benefit the broader economy – as suppliers of energy and attractive destinations for investment,” said Rentia.
Rentina also added that diversifying South Africa’s energy supply by expanding the contribution from renewable energy will support environmentally sustainable energy supply that provides secure and affordable energy to all South Africans.