The 75MW Kalkbult solar plant has become the first PV project under South Africa’s renewable energy programme to be connected to the grid.
The project was said to have been completed three months ahead of scheduling, becoming the first of the 18 PV projects of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP) to go online.
Developed by Norway based Scatec Solar, the project is located in the Northern Cape Province and will deliver 135 million kWh of power into the grid every year through a 20-year power purchase agreement with national utility Eskom.
“I am very proud of our staff and contractors who have been able to complete this substantial project three months ahead of schedule, demonstrating how swiftly utility-scale solar energy plants could be built and put in operation,” said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar.
“South African authorities are committed to implementing an ambitious renewable energy programme, and we find great satisfaction in being able to contribute to its success through our own projects, which we have actively been developing in South Africa over the last four years.”
Scatec Solar has been awarded a total of three projects under the REIPPPP with total capacity of 190MW. Construction of the next two projects, located near Hannover in the Northern Cape and Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape, has started and completion is expected by mid-2014.
Bidding for the 400MW third round of the REIPPPP closed to bids last month. Up to 3GW of bids are expected for the available PV capacity.