The board of directors for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, recently gave its approval of providing up to US$250 million for OPIC’s first solar power project in South Africa.
The 60MW plant will be built in response to the new Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program (REIPP) initiative that was set forth by the South African government in order to increase investment in renewable energy production. The REIPP holds a goal of having 3,725MW online by 2016. Furthermore, the plant will also help South Africa meet the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) objectives.
Financing from OPIC will allow for MEMC Electronic Materials and its subsidiary SunEdison to construct and operate the PV plant in Boshoff, South Africa’s Free State province. All electricity produced by the solar plant will be sold under a PPA to the national grid.
“South Africa’s ambitious and impressive renewable energy program has established the country as a leader in the field,” said OPIC President Elizabeth Littlefield. “We’re pleased to work with an experienced developer such SunEdison to deliver so many developmental benefits for South Africa, from the reduction of pollution and displacement of GHG emissions to the creation of local jobs and the realization of the country’s BEE program goals.”