Harmony Gold Mining Company has initiated a set of ground-mounted 30 MW solar facility in the Free State Province, south Africa. These is the Phase 2 of the project the company says. Once complete, this will add a further 137 MW.
These projects, namely Tshepong, Eland, and Nyala, are situated in Odendaalsrus. The electricity produced will be supplied to Harmony Gold Mining through a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA)
African Clean Energy Developments (ACED) co-sponsored the AIIM / Old Mutual’s IDEAS Fund and took on a key role in procurement and negotiations for power purchase agreements (PPAs). ACED managed the technical-commercial interaction, oversaw the overall transaction, including securing debt funding, and handled land, permitting, and construction management.
The Tshepong initiative is directly linked to Eskom’s Distribution System and transfers energy to Harmony’s supply point, leading to Eskom providing credits for the energy generated. ACED notes that the Tshepong project is South Africa’s pioneering “wheeling” project backed by financing.
On the other hand, the Eland and Nyala projects are directly connected to Harmony’s internal electrical system, situated behind the meter.
The company anticipates starting the construction of Phase 2 in December 2023 and finishing it during FY25. This phase will introduce an additional 137 MW of capacity.
Construction cost for the solar facilities in South Africa
The initial 100 MW of Phase 2 will mainly be financed by the R1.5 billion green loan obtained in June 2022. The remaining 37 MW will come from a power purchase agreement with an undisclosed company.
During 2020, multiple mining companies in South Africa revealed intentions to construct solar power plants using photovoltaic technology, resulting in a cumulative capacity of 585 MW. Notable projects encompass a 200 MW solar installation in progress by Sibanye-Stillwater, a planned 75 MW facility by Anglo American Platinum, a 40 MW solar park by Goldfields, a 200 MW photovoltaic plant by Indian mining firm Vedanta, a 30 MW solar facilities in South Africa by Harmony, a 38 MW plant by Orion, and a smaller 3 MW facility by Exxaro.