SolarReserve, Kensani, Intikon awarded 88 MW solar project in South Africa

Source: SolarReserve, LLC 

The South Africa Department of Energy (DOE) awarded an additional 88 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) project with preferred bidder status to the consortium of SolarReserve, a U.S. developer of utility-scale solar power projects, The Kensani Group, an experienced empowerment infrastructure player in the Southern African market, and Intikon Energy, a South African developer of renewable energy projects. This award brings the successful consortium's award to three projects totaling 238 MW and accounting for a 20 percent share of South Africa's solar energy market. The Jasper Solar Energy Project, located in the Northern Cape of South Africa, was developed in response to the DOE's second bidding window for the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP). 

In December 2011, the consortium received preferred bidder status for two 75 MW projects in the first round of the DOE's solicitation for renewable energy projects. These two projects, the Letsatsi and Lesedi PV projects, are expected to begin construction in June 2012 and are two of the largest projects in the first round of awards. They will generate enough clean, renewable energy to power more than 50,000 homes in South Africa. Wandile Motlana, Chairman of the Kensani Group, commended the government's commitment to continue to provide a clean resource for economic development and power delivery to all South Africans.

The awards for the second round of bids were announced on 21 May 2012 by Energy Minister Dipuo Peters. Similar to the first round of project awards, the preferred bidder status provides the consortium with the right to proceed with executing the 20-year government-supported power purchase agreements with the South African Power Utility, Eskom. The selection under the competitive bidding process was based on meeting strict project qualifications, economic development criteria and competitive electricity prices. From the 1,225 MW of potential renewable energy generation selected in the second round of bidding, nine solar PV bidders were selected with a combined generation capacity of 417 MW. The Jasper project, which is one of the two largest solar projects from this round of bids, is expected to begin construction in January 2013.

"Intikon Energy and its partners are committed to the objectives of the renewable energy procurement process in South Africa," said Stephen Donnelly, Managing Director of Intikon Energy. "Alongside the generation of clean sustainable energy, economic development and job creation are a fundamental objective of the Jasper Power Company Consortium and Intikon Energy. The success of the Jasper PV project will undoubtedly have a long-term positive social and economic impact on the communities it is associated with."

"The award of the Jasper project to our consortium by the South African government further establishes SolarReserve and our partners in the Southern Africa solar markets," said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve. "In addition, it continues SolarReserve's commitment in the region and expands our international activities and diversified portfolio of photovoltaic and concentrated solar power (CSP) projects. "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 additional PV and CSP projects in South Africa, the CSP projects 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 Eaglestone Capital Advisory (Pty) Ltd is the financial advisor to the Consortium. Rand Merchant Bank, a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, is the lead arranger and underwriter to the project. Kensani and its partners are confident of successfully delivering on their Solar Power Project commitments.

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