The joint venture of SolarReserve, the Kensani Group, and Intikon Energy, announced that the South Africa Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded the consortium preferred bidder status for their two 75 megawatts (MW-DC) Letsatsi and Lesedi solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. The preferred bidder status provides the consortium with the right to proceed with executing the 20-year government-supported power purchase agreements with Eskom, the South African Power Utility. The solar projects will be built in the Free State and Northern Cape provinces of South Africa , with construction scheduled to commence by June 2012 .
South Africa 's Energy Minister Dipuo Peters announced the preferred bidders under the Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Program at the Conference of the Parties (COP17) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change being held in Durban, South Africa . The selection under the competitive bidding process was based on meeting strict project qualifications, economic development criteria and competitive electricity prices. The first round awards of 1,400 MW of renewable energy projects included 632 MW of photovoltaic projects, with the SolarReserve/Kensani/Intikon consortium capturing two of the largest projects.
"The Letsatsi and Lesedi PV projects will generate clean, renewable energy to power over 50,000 homes in South Africa while also delivering meaningful and sustainable economic and social benefits," said Stephen Donnelly , Managing Director of Intikon Energy. "Construction of both PV projects will commence by June 2012 and will generate approximately 600 construction jobs and 100 permanent operational jobs."
"This award of preferred bidder status from the South Africa DOE for the Letsatsi and Lesedi projects is a substantial milestone for SolarReserve as we continue expanding our diversified portfolio of photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) projects globally," said Kevin Smith , CEO of SolarReserve. "We appreciate the support of the South African government and look forward to working with our joint venture partners and the communities where the projects are located to contribute to the country's renewable energy generation and economic development goals."
SolarReserve, Intikon and Kensani are cooperating further to develop CSP projects in South Africa utilizing SolarReserve's advanced molten salt power tower technology with fully integrated energy storage which provides reliable, zero-emission electricity on-demand, day or night.
Kensani Capital Advisory is the financial advisor with Rand Merchant Bank , a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, appointed as the lead arranger and underwriter to the projects. "The projects will require an investment of approximately ZAR 5.0 billion , or more than US $600 million , over the next two years," said Wandile Motlana, Chairman of the Kensani Group. "Once constructed, the projects will be among the largest solar projects on the African continent; while providing substantial long-term community uplift through rural development programs, skills and technology transfer and education enhancement."
SolarReserve, Kensani and Intikon consortium in the lead for two 75 MW solar projects in South Africa