Two of the largest solar power plants in South Africa come online

Together, the Lesedi and Letsatsi utility-scale solar projects will power more than 130,000 homes through the Eskom South African electric grid (Image: Aerial of Letsatsi from April 2014 | Photo courtesy of SolarReserve)

SolarReserve announced two utility-scale solar projects in South Africa are now operational. The Lesedi and Letsatsi projects, located in Northern Cape and the Free State respectively, each have a capacity of 75 megawatts. Together they will power more than 130,000 homes through the Eskom South African electric grid. The projects both have 20-year power purchase agreements with Eskom.

The developments are among the largest renewable energy projects in Africa and two of the largest project finance transactions in South Africa. The projects were developed and financed through a partnership, which included SolarReserve, the IDEAS Managed Fund, the Kensani Group, GCL Poly Energy Holdings and Intikon Energy.

"The social and economic benefits that these projects are imparting in South Africa today demonstrate the positive results of close cooperation between the U.S. and South African governments along with private companies in each nation," said SolarReserve's CEO Kevin Smith.

As part of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program, the projects set aside a percentage of total project revenues for enterprise and socio-economic development, which will be invested for the benefit of the local communities.

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