On site ceremonies were held to mark the inauguration of Globeleq’s first solar energy projects in South Africa, and globally. The 50 MW photovoltaic (PV) De Aar and 50 MW PV Droogfontein solar power facilities are both located in the Northern Cape and are generating energy for the national grid.
“Globeleq, Mainstream Renewable Power and our consortium partners have demonstrated the ability to develop, finance, construct and operate utility scale solar projects in the newly created South African renewable energy market,” CEO of Globeleq Mikael Karlsson says.
In addition to the two 50 MW PV solar plants, Globeleq is also involved in the 138 MW Jeffrey’s Bay wind farm, located on the Eastern Cape. The three facilities are part of the government of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Program and are among the very first large scale renewable power plants to be built in the country. Globeleq is the majority shareholder in a consortium comprised of Mainstream Renewable Power, Thebe Investment Corporation, engineering firms Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering and local community trusts. Old Mutual is an additional consortium member in the Jeffrey’s Bay wind farm.
Mark Pickering, Managing Director of Globeleq South Africa which manages the operation and commercial aspects of the three facilities says, “These plants are part of the first wave of private power generation to be built in the country in many decades. As such they herald the dawn of a new era.”
During construction the two solar plants created nearly 1,000 jobs of which more than 700 were drawn from the surrounding communities. Now that De Aar and Droogfontein Solar Power are operational a percentage of project revenues will be reinvested into the local community through socio-economic and enterprise development programmes.