The deal represents the first 75 megawatt (MW) phase of Solar Capitals 300 MW photovoltaic project. Construction is scheduled to begin next June. A spokesperson told pv magazine that due to confidentiality agreements, the equipment suppliers cannot yet be unveiled. However, they did say that 550 construction jobs will be created.
It was originally announced back at the start of November that the project would be 360 MW. However, the spokesperson said that this has been scaled back.
The deal is said to be worth ZAR18 billion (around 1.6 billion; US$2.2 billion). "Solar Capital plans to invest over ZAR2 billion, and will be bidding for additional licenses for its 50,000 hectares of land, in the Northern and Western Cape provinces," explained the company in a statement released. The spokesperson added that a leading South African bank will also be investing in the project.
Overall, Solar Capital says it will develop 25 solar farms in the Northern Cape, due to the high irradiation levels. The statement continued, "The solar farms are located in areas of excessive sunshine that makes this land arid and non-productive for agricultural purposes."