This project, which took just a year to construct, and is part of a portfolio of six project owned by the same shareholders (African Infrastructure Investment Managers (a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments) through its Ideas Fund, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty) Ltd, Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty) Ltd, African Rainbow Energy and Power and the Cicada Community Trust) under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) Window 4, and is the last of the six to come online.
With over 184,000 solar modules, the 55MW PV project will supply the national grid with 152 GWh/year of green energy, thereby helping to improve the country’s security of supply,” says Isaac Mmushi, CEO of Boikanyo Solar.
The project is located on 168-hectares of low value agricultural land, and connects to the close-by Siyancuma 132 kV switching station.
The surrounding communities of Douglas, Bongani, Breipaal, Campbell and Griekwastad benefited directly from 450 jobs over the year of construction. In addition more employment and opportunities were created through the sub-contracting of various services. Such direct benefits will continue throughout the 20-year operations period.
Furthermore, over its 20-year operations period, the project will continue to ensure participatory inclusion of local communities in the design and implementation of socioeconomic and enterprise development initiatives. These programmes are aimed at building economic and social resilience, as well as increasing access to the local economy.
“This solar facility is 100% South African-owned, a significant positioning for renewable energy projects in South Africa, and proof that the green power sector is an attractive option for local investors,” says Mmushi.