Norwegian renewable energy firm Scatec ASA has started construction of the three Kenhardt projects in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Scatec can now begin project construction after reaching financial close under South Africa’s renewable development programme, the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP).
Once operational the project will have a total solar capacity of 540MW and battery storage capacity of 225MW/1,140MWh.
It will provide 150MW of dispatchable power under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement to the Kenhardt region.
“This project is a first of its kind and will be one of the world’s largest solar and battery facilities. We are now looking forward to starting construction of this unique and exciting project, which will be a major contribution to South Africa’s economy and green energy sector,” says Scatec CEO Terje Pilskog.
The project will be the largest investment in Scatec’s history with a total capex of approximately ZAR 16.4 billion ($962 million).
“This is an important milestone in the procurement of renewable energy and proves that the sector can be relied upon to deliver much-needed electricity capacity to the grid,” adds Jan Fourie, general manager of Sub-Saharan Africa, Scatec.
Scatec will own 51% of the equity in the project, with H1 Holdings, the local Black Economic Empowerment partner owning 49%.
South Africa is currently struggling with power shortages resulting in daily loadshedding across the entire country.
Maintenance challenges and employee strikes have worsened the situation of late, forcing the government to take action to expedite renewables projects.