Jasper, at 96MWp the largest PV power plant in South Africa, has been completed.
Located in Northern Cape Province, the project was developed by US-based firm SolarReserve and part-financed by US internet giant, Google, under South Africa’s flagship renewable energy programme.
SolarReserve said the project had been completed two months head of schedule, employing 800 construction workers on site at the peak of the build process.
The plan will generate an estimated 180,00MWh of power annually, which will be sold to South Africa’s national utility company, Eskom.
“In addition to helping South Africa meet its critical electricity needs, the Jasper Project will bring long lasting economic benefits to the region,” said SolarReserve's CEO Kevin Smith. “We look forward to continuing this positive momentum and bringing value to South Africa through collaboration on further projects, including our upcoming CSP projects that will provide South Africa with clean, reliable and non-intermittent electricity, day and night.”
It marks the latest of the utility PV plants now being rolled out under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
Jasper sits adjacent to the 75MW Lesedi project, also developed by SolarReserve and completed in May, the same month in which the company’s third project in South Africa, the 75MWp Letsatsi plant in Bloemfontein, was finished.
Meanwhile, Norwegian IPP, Scatec Solar, has also completed a number of projects in South Africa, including the 75MW Kalkbult plant.
For now, Jasper will also hold the claim of being Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest PV power plant, but most likely only for a relatively short period. Blue Energy, the UK-based developer, is currently building the 155MW Nzema project in western Ghana, and expects to complete it next year.
For further insight into South Africa's REIPPP, including the financing of the Jasper project, click here.