SunEdison secures US$185 million foreign debt for South African solar project

solar panelSolar energy services firm SunEdison has secured a foreign debt of US$185mn from the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for its Boshof Solar Park project in South Africa

Earlier this month, the South Africa Department of Energy awarded 1,500MW of clean energy projects to 17 companies through a tendering process, with the aim of reducing its reliance on coal for power generation.

According to the Wall Street Journal, SunEdison’s debt from government-owned OPIC will cover 75 per cent of the cost of the project, which is located near Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province.

SunEdison said the 60MW plant is scheduled for completion in Q4 2014. The company has signed a 20-year power purchase and implementation agreement with power utility Eskom and the South African Department of Energy.

US-based SunEdison will own a 51 per cent stake in the project, while the remaining 49 per cent will be held by a group of South African companies.

OPIC president Elizabeth Littlefield said, “Access to a reliable source of energy is essential to addressing a wide range of development challenges, from producing food to educating students and building modern infrastructure. OPIC is pleased to support a project that will provide a clean source of electricity and help stimulate economic development.”

SunEdison managing director for South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, Pashupathy Gopalan, said, “We have extensive experience in delivering reliable economical solar energy solutions for our customers around the world. We are using that experience and our innovative approach to tap into new markets.”  

Gopalan added the Boshof Solar Park project will generate 280 direct jobs during its construction and operational phases, with about 1,000 indirect jobs also set to be created.



South Africa awards clean energy projects to 17 firms

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