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Norway firm set to provide solar power to SA

Apr 13 2015 21:15
Paul Burkhardt

Johannesburg - Scatec Solar ASA, a Norwegian developer of renewable-energy facilities, is among preferred bidders for three solar-power projects in the fourth of five programme rounds to increase electricity from clean sources in South Africa.

The country’s Department of Energy awarded Scatec preferred-bidder status for projects in the Northern Cape province with a combined capacity of 258MW, the Oslo-based company said in a statement on Monday.

South Africa is expanding capacity as the state utility, which generates about 95% of the country’s power mostly using coal, has been forced to implement managed blackouts due to breakdowns at its aging fleet of plants and failure to invest in new facilities on time.

The country procured about 3 900MW of capacity through the first three competitive rounds of bids by clean- energy producers, with about $10bn invested so far, the Department of Energy said in December.

That already exceeded the 3 725MW initially sought from five bid windows.

The department had planned to name the preferred providers in the program’s fourth round on December 15. Maduna Ngobeni, a spokesperson for the department, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Scatec has arranged financing for the projects that will be built near Upington, about 870km northeast of Cape Town, it said. Construction will start in early 2017, according to the company.

It will own 42% of the plants while the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries, or Norfund, will hold 18% and a trust for local South African communities will control the rest, it said.



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