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Financiers collaborate to provide solar PV solutions for businesses

SOLA Group has secured R400 million in order to build commercial and industrial solar PV facilities across southern Africa.

The renewable energy fund Orionis will enable 40MW of solar PV projects to be built without capital expenditure by the electricity off-takers.

The deal is a result of a partnership between the SOLA Group, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), and Nedbank Energy Finance, who have partnered to provide affordable solar PV solutions for businesses that are in dire need of electricity security.

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Financing onsite power for the C&I market

Chris Haw, the chairperson of the SOLA Group, believes that the clean energy solutions created by the fund are timeous.

“This partnership brings together three highly experienced entities whose combined skills offer consumers clean energy solutions at a time when our country desperately needs it,” said Haw.

Financial hurdles in scaling up solar for C&I customers

SOLA’s extensive track record of developing and building solar PV has allowed for the development of the Orionis fund, which will have the ability to fund 40MW worth of projects.

The forthcoming pipeline already includes 15MW of solar PV Power Purchase Agreements, including several breweries and other industrial facilities around South Africa.

The consumers pay for their clean energy directly, through a PPA tariff that is typically 20% lower than Eskom or their municipal provider’s rates.

The financed model would allow sectors focused on short-term cost reductions in their Opex budgets.

This would allow reductions in operating costs and in carbon emissions, which are generally very important to industrial sectors. The financed solar PV is provided through a legal arrangement called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

A commercial solar PPA enables a fully integrated solar photovoltaic system to be installed and provide electricity to the entity through a customised monthly payment plan, typically at a tariff that is 20% lower than Eskom.

What is in a PPA? 

PPAs can also include the option to take ownership of the PV system at the end of the financed period, with no upfront installation costs.

The conditions of power purchase are detailed in the PPA, which is negotiated directly with each client to ensure the agreement is workable for both parties.

Watch the video below, which expands more on PPAs

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.