Scatec Solar, a Norwegian solar developer, and its partners have initiated the commercial operation of the first phase of its 258 MW solar project in Upington, South Africa.
According to the company’s statement, the 86 MW solar project, known as Sirius, will produce 217 GWh and will lead to the reduction of over 180,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.
Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar, said, “South Africa continues to be a very important market for Scatec Solar, and we are developing several interesting project opportunities both within the utility-scale segment as well as our container-based solar solutions.”
Scatec Solar owns 42% of the equity, Norfund holds 18%, the community of Upington 5%, and H1 Holdings, a South African Black investor, holds the remaining 35%.
Three projects in Upington were awarded in April 2015 in the fourth bidding round under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPP) in South Africa. The two remaining solar projects totaling 172 MW are expected to reach commercial operation within the next few months, said the company in a media statement.
Although nearly 82% of South Africa’s electricity is generated from coal, the country has now become a hotspot for investors in the renewable energy sector. Many solar power projects are under development in the country, which still has millions of households that are yet to be electrified.
In January 2020, CDC Group, a U.K. government-owned financial development institution, announced that it plans to invest £2 billion (~₹184.41 billion) in African businesses over the next two years to double the size of its operations in the continent.
In December 2019, Mercom reported that Scatec Solar was awarded 360 MW of solar power projects in Tunisia. The company has been awarded three projects of 60 MW, 60 MW, and 240 MW. These projects are to be developed in Tozeur, Sidi Bouzid, and Tataouine regions of the country, respectively.
According to Mercom Solar Funding and M&A Tracker, nearly 3,032 MW of solar projects across South Africa have secured approximately $6,944 million in project financing to date.
Image credit: Scatec Solar
Anjana is a news editor at Mercom India. Before joining Mercom, she held roles of senior editor, district correspondent, and sub-editor for The Times of India, Biospectrum and The Sunday Guardian. Before that, she worked at the Deccan Herald and the Asianlite as chief sub-editor and news editor. She has also contributed to The Quint, Hindustan Times, The New Indian Express, Reader’s Digest (UK edition), IndiaSe (Singapore-based magazine) and Asiaville. Anjana holds a Master’s degree in Geography from North Bengal University, and a diploma in mass communication and journalism from Guru Ghasidas University, Bhopal.