SOUTH AFRICA: Waterloo solar power plant (75 MWp) goes into commercial operation
The Waterloo photovoltaic solar power plant is now operational. The 75 MWp facility was built by the South African subsidiary of juwi Renewable Energies on behalf of a consortium of African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments) through its IDEAS fund, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty), Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty), AREP (African Rainbow Energy and Power) and Cicada Community Trust.
South Africa’s national electricity grid is growing. At least 75 MWp more are recently injected into it from the Waterloo photovoltaic solar power plant, whose commercial operation is announced by the South African subsidiary of juwi Renewable Energies. The local engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor has installed 261,360 solar panels on a 171-hectare site near the town of Vryburg in the North West Province of South Africa.
The installation feeds its output into the national electricity grid from an Eskom switching station in Mookodi. “At the peak of construction, more than 500 people, mostly from local communities, were directly employed. This is in addition to the jobs created by subcontracting various services,” says juwi Renewable Energies.
Operation over 20 years
The Waterloo solar project is part of the 4th round of theRenewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPPP), launched by the South African government to attract investment from independent power producers (IPPs). The concession was awarded to a consortium formed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM, a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments) through its IDEAS fund, Reatile Solar Power (RF) (Pty), Phakwe Solar (RF) (Pty), AREP (African Rainbow Energy and Power) and Cicada Community Trust.
These partners will operate their solar photovoltaic power plant for 20 years under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) signed with the state-owned company Eskom. juwi Renewable Energies will operate and maintain it for the next five years through its subsidiary juwi O&M. EPC welcomes the consortium’s efforts to promote local development through this clean energy project.
“The focus is on small and micro-enterprises, designed to enhance growth. The creation of a local resource centre, for the use of local SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) and communities at large, will support this drive for development, while accredited skills training will be provided to start-ups,” says juwi Renewable Energies. juwi Renewable Energies.