Home News Northern Cape can shine bright in renewable energy space – Ramokgopa

Northern Cape can shine bright in renewable energy space – Ramokgopa

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The Northern Cape, with its abundant sunlight and wind energy potential, is becoming a key player in South Africa’s renewable energy sector, according to Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity.

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa (arms folded) visited the Kenhardt solar farm as part of an outreach trip to the Northern Cape. Picture: Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa via X (Twitter)

THE NORTHERN Cape, with its abundant sunlight and wind energy potential, is becoming a key player in South Africa’s renewable energy sector, according to Dr Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, the Minister in the Presidency for Electricity.

Ramokgopa’s remarks came during a ceremony on Friday marking the commencement of commercial operations at a 540MW solar and battery energy storage facility in Kenhardt in the Northern Cape.

The Scatec ASA project, boasting a total capacity of 540MW solar and 225MW/1,140MWh battery storage, stands as one of the world’s largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities.

The project, with a total capital expenditure of approximately US $1 billion, represents Scatec’s largest commitment to date. The power generated by this facility will be sold under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom. Scatec holds a 51% majority equity stake in the project, while the local black economic empowerment partner, H1 Holdings, holds the remaining 49%.

Ramokgopa stressed that the construction of renewable energy projects in the Province should have a “meaningful impact” on long-term job creation. He noted that the project created over 2,000 jobs at the peak of construction. As the project transitions to operational status, the number of jobs will naturally decrease. However, the focus remains on ensuring long-term benefits for the local community.

“The people still remain here and they are still searching for opportunities, so it’s important that we are able to have a new conversation … This is not about Scatec, this is about how we see the Northern Cape as a major player in the renewable energy complex,” he said.

He further highlighted ongoing discussions between provincial and national governments on how investments in the Province can have a meaningful, long-term impact through localisation and industry creation.

“It’s important that opportunities get to be domesticated here and part of that conversation … is to see how best we can translate the Northern Cape as the renewable energy complex of the country and on the back of that, create new industries.

“With 60% of nearly R260 billion of investment sunk in this province, you should see the difference even before being told that it accounts for that. The conversation is about ensuring that these investments are domesticated, and that the opportunities that arise are centred in the Northern Cape,” he added.

The Northern Cape has the potential to become South Africa’s renewable energy hub and by centring opportunities and industry growth in the Province, this ambitious vision can be realised.

As the Province continues to harness its natural resources, it is set to shine brightly in the renewable energy space.

Source: SAnews.gov.za

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