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15 new renewable energy projects planned

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By the end of March 2018, 23 740 jobs were held by South Africans at IPPs in the Northern Cape

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THE NORTHERN Cape has attracted the lion’s share of South Africa’s Independent Power Producers investments since 2012, with the Province home to more than the combined investments in all other provinces.

The Northern Cape has more than half the country’s 112 Independent Power Producers, with 31 of the operational renewable energy power plants being currently housed in the Province, at a power generating capacity of 1925 MW. With 56% of South Africa’s Independent Power Producers (IPPs) housed here, the Province not only plays host to solar farms but now also boasts the second highest number of wind farms as well.

The Northern Cape is further the recipient of the majority of IPPs from the latest bid window, green-lighted in April this year, which will bring 15 new wind, solar PV and CSP projects to the Province

Through this, the Province has managed to attract much needed local and foreign investment, resulting in a substantial share of the equity for local communities with benefits materialising over the 20-year project life span.

In addition to the immense solar resource, the Northern Cape also has significant wind power potential, with six wind power projects already operational and a further six being finalised for construction to begin. This will bring the Province’s wind power allocation to 1 458 MW capacity.

New renewable energy projects that will be built in the Northern Cape as part of the latest bid window (REI4P) include the 40 MW Aggeneys Solar Photovoltaic (PV) near Aggeneys, the 102 MW Copperton Onshore Wind Farm near Copperton, the 75 MW Droogfontein 2 solar PV plant near Kimberley, the 75 MW Dyason’s Klip and 75 MW Dyason’s Klip 2 Solar PV plants near Upington, the 136 MW Garob Onshore Wind Farm near Copperton, the 55 MW Greefspan PV Power Plant No 2 solar park, the Kangnas 137 MW Onshore Wind Farm near Springbok, where construction has commenced, the 140 Karusa Onshore Wind Farm near Sutherland, the 75 MW Konkoonsies II Solar PV Facility near Pofadder, the 75 MW Sirius Solar PV Project One near Upington, the 75 MW Solar Capital Orang solar PV plant near Loeriesfontein and the 139 MW Soetwater Onshore Wind Farm near Laingsburg.

According to the Department of Energy, the combined investment share of the Province is 46% more than the Northern Cape’s annual gross domestic production (R92 billion). By March 2018 the project value that had been realised in the Northern Cape totalled R57.8 billion.

A substantial portion of these investments have been structured and secured as local equity. Individual communities’ dividends earned will depend on the terms of each transaction corresponding with the relevant equity share. The aggregate impact of investments and earnings projected for local communities associated with the projects in the Province (accrued over 20 years) present a net income of R18.3 billion.

The Northern Cape consumed 5 591 GWh electricity in 2016, or 2.5% of the national total (222 436 GWh). With the newly developed IPP capacity (procured in BW1 to BW4, 1S2 and 2S2), the Province will produce more than 100% of its own electrical power needs from renewable energy sources (although in practice this energy will be fed into the national grid).

By the end of March 2018, 23 740 jobs were held by South Africans at IPPs in the Northern Cape. Black South Africans hold 26% of the shares across the complete supply chain (for the 33 active projects in BW1, BW2, BW3 and BW3.5), while local communities hold 9% equity in the active IPPs of BW1, BW2, BW3 and BW3.5.