Multinational technology conglomerate, Siemens Energy has signed an agreement to supply equipment and engineering, procurement, construction services for several renewable energy projects in South Africa.
The projects are being undertaken by lead developer Mainstream Renewable Power along with other partners like Globeleq, black economic empowerment investment company Thebe Investment Corporation, local engineering firms such as Enzani Technologies and Usizo Engineering, local community trust members, and Mainstream’s local partner renewable energy developer Genesis Eco-Energy.
Siemens will develop two solar power plants with a capacity of 50 MW each in De Aar and Droogfontein in the Northern Cape. The projects are expected to provide electricity to 130,000 houses and are scheduled to be commissioned in 2014.
Mainstream Renewable has already signed the power purchase agreement, project implementation and key financing contract with the government and South African power utility Eskom, and plans an investment of more than €500 million.
In addition to these two projects, Siemens will supply about 60 wind turbines, each having a capacity of 2.3 MW and a rotor diameter of 101 meters, for the 138MW Jeffreys Bay wind farm in the Eastern Cape. Operation and maintenance of the turbines will also be provided by Siemens for 10 years.
Siemens Energy said that the first round of the procurement for 25-30% of the components will be sourced from local contractors, and vendors and imported components like photovoltaic modules and inverters will be sourced from outside.
Ute Menikheim, Siemens Energy CEO for Africa, said: “South Africa has outstanding conditions for the utilisation of solar and wind energy and has set up a remarkable renewable energy programme. Renewable energy will help to increase access to electricity, create much-needed jobs and support the economic growth on the continent while lowering our carbon emissions.”
Over the last few months, the renewable energy sector in South Africa has seen exceedingly high activity, with the government and several private sectors announcing new wind and solar power projects.
The South African Energy Department is seeking bids for 3,725 MW of renewable energy projects through its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme. International leaders in renewable energy, like Abengoa and several others, have signed agreements to provide services for implementation of large-scale renewable energy projects. Standard Chartered Bank has committed over $1 billion, while the US Export-Import Bank will lend $2 billion for renewable energy projects.
Image: Siemens Press Picture
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Mridul Chadha currently works as Head-News & Data at Climate Connect Limited, a market research and analytics firm in the renewable energy and carbon markets domain. He earned his Master’s in Technology degree from The Energy & Resources Institute in Renewable Energy Engineering and Management. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering. Mridul has a keen interest in renewable energy sector in India and emerging carbon markets like China and Australia.