Financing secured for South Africa’s Redstone project

Redstone Solar SolarReserveThe project will be able to deliver stable electricity supply even after sunset. (Image source: SolarReserve)The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has signed an agreement with SolarReserve and ACWA Power to support the development of solar power in South Africa

According to the agreement, OPIC is making a US$400mn commitment of debt financing to support the development of the Redstone Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in Northern Cape, South Africa.

The Redstone project is a 100MW clean energy facility that will be connected to the South African national grid. Using US-based SolarReserve’s CSP technology, Redstone’s molten salt storage capability will deliver consistent baseload electricity even after sunset. 

“It’s impressive that Redstone brings together the innovative US private sector leadership and technology of SolarReserve, the international experience of ACWA, and large-scale catalytic financing from OPIC,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, CEO of OPIC.

The solar power project is a critical development in South Africa, where frequent power outages have been cited as an obstacle to economic growth.

SolarReserve’s CEO, Kevin Smith, said, “The project’s delivered electricity price is the lowest of any CSP project in the country to date.”

Talking about the technology being used in the project, Paddy Padmanathan, CEO of Saudi Arabia-based ACWA Power, said, “The first time deployment of CSP Tower technology in the country using a project finance framework, which was made possible by the galvanising leadership of OPIC financing, will enable this very important clean energy technology to be deployed at scale and at a faster pace than otherwise would have been possible.”

South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which aims to add 3,725MW of clean power to the country’s energy generation mix.

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