Cape Town, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 30 March 2011 – South African construction firm Group Five may construct a R5 billion solar plant to supply South African national power utility Eskom Holdings Limited.
“We hope to be producing power in 2013 when it starts to come on line,” director of engineering and construction Greg Heale told Reuters here on the sidelines of an African refinery conference.
He said the project would supply energy to power utility Eskom, and not mining firms, and would go ahead only if it was selected as part of South Africa’s renewable energy procurement process.
Heale said Group Five “’ South Africa’s fourth-largest construction firm “’ expected to conclude all contractual arrangements, including off-take agreements, within the next nine months.
“The project, to be located in the sun-drenched Northern Cape province, is hopefully the first of a number of phases that could be constructed on the site, eventually producing up to 450MW,” Heale said.
Africa’s largest economy is rapidly moving away from a reliance on coal, which supplies more than 90% of the country’s energy needs, to energy sources such as solar, wind and nuclear.
South Africa could produce its first solar power from a proposed US$21 billion solar park by 2012, eventually supplying 5,000MW of power.
The country wants to accelerate its renewable energy programme to meet a target of 10,000 GW hours by 2013.