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Norwegian solar power producer Scatec Solar has been awarded a preferred bidder status by South Africa’s energy department to build three solar plants in Northern Cape
The bidding is part of the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Procurement Programme (REIPP).
Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said, “We are very impressed by the great determination by the South African government to use large scale renewables to strengthen power supply in the country. With this award, the people of South Africa will access more clean, reliable and cost competitive electricity in many years to come.”
Carlsen added that the three solar power plants, with a combined capacity of 258MW, will be built on adjacent sites. With a 42 per cent share in the project, Scatec Solar will develop, operate and own all three solar power plants, while the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund) will own 18 per cent of the equity. The balance will be held by a trust channelling dividends from the projects to economic development initiatives in local communities, said Scatec Solar officials.
Project financing is expected to reach financial close by Q3 or Q4 2015, and construction is likely to begin in Q1 2017.