Two new utility-scale solar power plants have begun operations in South Africa, media reports said. The two new plants, Aggeneys Solar and Konkoonsies II Solar, will add a collective 132MW to South Africa’s generation capacity.
Robert Skjodt, chief executive at BioTherm Energy told the media, “This is a significant milestone, that sees the first two of our four South African renewable energy power plants feeding the grid. There is no doubt that renewable energy offers vast opportunities and should play a pivotal role in the country’s economic recovery strategy. It will not only improve the security of supply but also deliver the many economic and social co-benefits associated with South Africa’s renewable energy programme.”
In a statement, BioTherm said that both the solar plants form part of BioTherm Energy’s portfolio and are expected to produce enough each year to power 110,000 households in South Africa.
Construction of the plants, which are located within 35 km of each other, began in 2018.
BioTherm further said in its statement that the project provided jobs to over 1,000 local workers from the rural towns of Aggeneys, Witbank, Pofadder, Pella and Onseepkans, situated within the 50 km radius of the plants.
South Africa’s energy minister Gwede Mantashe recently said in the Government Gazette that Eskom will buy at least 6.8GW of solar and wind power from independent power producers from 2022.
“Six point eight gigawatts should be procured to be generated from renewable energy sources (PV and wind) … for the years 2022 to 2024,” Mantashe said.