Home » African Rainbow Minerals Secures R2.5B for Solar Plant

African Rainbow Minerals Secures R2.5B for Solar Plant

by Adenike Adeodun

In a landmark initiative, SOLA Group, in partnership with local commercial banks, has launched a 132 MWp solar project in South Africa’s North West province. This move amplifies the nation’s renewable energy prospects.

Powering the Mines and the National Grid

This initiative aims to supply energy to platinum mining operations overseen by African Rainbow Minerals. Impressively, it will feed power directly into South Africa’s national grid. Eskom, the national electricity company, remains instrumental in overseeing the energy output’s journey from its source to its final destination.

Project Details and Local Ownership

Highlighting its domestic roots, both SOLA Group and African Rainbow Energy have ownership stakes in this venture. Notably, the project receives financial backing from prominent local banks like ABSA, Standard Bank, DBSA, and Nedbank. It’s an endeavor that screams ‘Made in South Africa,’ from its design and construction to its funding and ownership.

Addressing South Africa’s Energy Deficit

In a short span of six months, SOLA Group has undertaken its third major renewable project. This adds a staggering 390 MW to their construction lineup. For context, the project involves the installation of approximately 588,000 solar panels over 750 hectares. Given that South Africa faced an 8.3 TWh electricity shortage in 2022, these projects could potentially mitigate about 11% of this deficit.

Socio-Economic Benefits

According to a report by Mining Review, Chris Haw, SOLA Group’s co-founder, highlights the broader societal implications. “Beyond energy provision, this initiative promises to create 1,200 jobs, rejuvenating areas that previously lacked employment opportunities,” Haw stated. Further, plans are underway to train local individuals, equipping them for a future industry that envisions a yearly clean energy requirement of 6,000 MW over the next ten years.

Financial Impacts and Advisory Collaboration

Brian Dames, CEO of African Rainbow Energy, sheds light on the economic benefits. “This venture represents a R6.4 billion investment in the North West province, scaling our renewable energy contributions to 1 Gigawatt,” Dames remarked.

Benefitting from insights provided by global consulting giants like Faskens and Pinsent Masons, this project underscores South Africa’s ambitious drive. It’s not just about amplifying the energy grid, but also about invigorating job markets and bolstering local economic landscapes.

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