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Diversification of South Africa’s energy supply continues

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Standard Bank has closed four projects under the latest round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, (REIPPPP), making it the first bank to close a project since the long delay.

Rentia van Tonder, head of power and energy at Standard Bank highlights that the remaining projects have until end July to reach financial close.

Van Tonder adds that collectively, the four projects already closed, being the Sirius, Dyasons Klip 1 and Dyasons Klip 2 solar projects in the Northern Cape and the Wesley-Ciskei wind project in the former Ciskei region of the Eastern Cape Province, will add 258MW of renewable energy to South Africa’s national grid.

In addition, they will represent a combined investment of ZAR6.6 billion in South Africa’s renewables sector.

The three Northern Cape solar projects, being constructed by Norway’s Scatec Solar ASA were amongst the first projects to reach financial close in the current round of the REIPPPP process, van Tonder said.

In addition to providing innovative funding structures, crowding in asset managers and capital markets, the three Scatec projects were also significant, “as they represent the first time that Standard Bank has provided inflation linked CPI debt to a renewable energy project,” said added.

The Wesley-Ciskei wind project to be commissioned by Riverbank Wind Power (Pty) Ltd will add 33MW to the national grid. As well as being the first project to reach financial close under the fourth round of South Africa’s REIPPPP process, the project is also significant in being the first renewable energy project located in a former homeland.

The Wesley-Ciskei wind project, “demonstrates the significance of renewables in empowering marginalised communities,” according van Tonder.

Beyond the impact of a ZAR1.03 billion investment in an economically marginalised region of South Africa, the project provides an example of how rural communities can be key participants and benefit the broader economy – as suppliers of energy and attractive destinations for investment.

The Wesley-Ciskei wind project is owned by a South African consortium consisting of:  60% shareholding by EDF Renewables; 22.5% shareholding by Telagystix (being a subsidiary of the BEE company Calulo Renewable Energy); 5% shareholding by the landowners of the site where the project is located, (enabled by a donation made to them by EDF Renewables); and 12.5% shareholding by Riverbank Winds of Change BBBEE Co (RF) Ltd being the trust established for the local community.

EDF Renewables, with offices in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth and supported by its French parent company, EDF, represents the growth of a domestic renewables capability that Standard Bank is particularly proud to support.

The Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is expected to be tabled in Parliament by the middle of August which will set the path for the future energy mix in South Africa. Diversifying South Africa’s energy supply by expanding the contribution from renewable energy will support environmentally sustainable energy supply that provides secure and affordable energy to all South Africans.


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