SOUTH AFRICA – Standard Bank has teamed up with TotalEnergies and Hydra Storage HoldCo to facilitate financing for a significant renewable energy endeavor.

This collaboration aims to support developing a 216 MW solar PV and 450 MWh battery energy storage hybrid project in the Northern Cape.

The hybrid power plant is poised to deliver 75 MW of dispatchable power to the national utility Eskom continuously from 5 a.m. to 9.30 p.m. for twenty years, contributing approximately 400 GWh of electricity annually.

George Kotsovos, Executive of Energy and Infrastructure Finance at Standard Bank highlighted the bank’s pivotal role in the transaction.

Standard Bank provided comprehensive support for navigating the project’s complexities as a leading arranger, hedging bank, agent bank, and legal documentation bank.

This renewable energy initiative, awarded under South Africa’s Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (RMIPPPP), signifies a concerted effort to address the country’s electricity supply constraints.

Vincent Stoquart, Senior Vice President of Renewables at TotalEnergies, emphasized the project’s innovative hybrid design, which ensures continuous green electricity supply, contributing to South Africa’s energy transition and bolstering the resilience of its power system.

In addition to facilitating this transformative project, Standard Bank is committed to mobilizing funds for renewable energy initiatives across Africa.

The bank has pledged to mobilize between R250 billion (US$13.37bn) and R300 billion (US$16.05bn) by 2026 for sustainable finance solutions, including lending, underwriting, and arrangement activities.

Rentia van Tonder, Standard Bank’s Executive and Head of the Power Sector Client Coverage underscored the bank’s support for independent power producers and their efforts to enhance Southern Africa’s energy potential.

This commitment reflects Standard Bank’s broader dedication to advancing sustainable development across the continent.

PNE sells 240MW solar project in South Africa

In recent developments, German renewables developer Pure New Energy (PNE) has made a significant move by selling a 240MW solar project in South Africa to the NOA Group, a local energy company.

Dubbed the Khauta project, this initiative comprises four smaller installations strategically planned adjacent to one another in the Free State province of South Africa. It is currently in the developmental phase.

PNE anticipates the Khauta project achieving commercial operation by “mid-2024,” marking a milestone as the first solar project in the NOA Group’s portfolio with a capacity exceeding 100MW.

Karel Cornelissen, CEO of the NOA Group, emphasized the pioneering nature of this project for their organization and highlighted its potential to address South Africa’s immediate energy supply deficit.

Indeed, the proliferation of renewables projects in South Africa plays a crucial role in the country’s efforts to transition away from reliance on coal-fired power plants and decarbonize its energy mix.

Coal has historically accounted for a significant portion of the country’s electricity demand, contributing to a substantial increase in emissions over recent decades.

The South African government has implemented initiatives like the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Program (REIPPPP) to incentivize further investment in renewables.

The latest bidding round, held in December 2023, aimed to support the addition of 1.8 GW of new renewable capacity.

Notable successes in this endeavor include the commissioning of a 540MW solar-plus-storage project by Norwegian developer Scatec in the Northern Cape province.

Scatec’s utilization of opportunities within the REIPPPP underscores the program’s efficacy in driving renewable energy development.

Looking ahead, PNE remains poised for significant growth, boasting a pipeline of 7.4GWp of solar capacity under development across ten countries.

If fully realized, this portfolio would surpass the capacity of its existing wind projects, which currently stand at 6.5 GW. Such expansion reflects PNE’s commitment to advancing renewable energy solutions globally.

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