When complete, the plant will be South Africa’s largest and is said to represent the biggest solar investment ever made by an Italian company. Work is slated to start shortly and the plant is expected to be online in the first six months of 2013.
The group’s Moncada Construction subsidiary will provide EPC services for the first 94.5MWp generation phase of the project, which will use thin film panels manufactured in Sicily by the group’s Moncada Solar Equipment.
The initial phase of the project will cost 182 million and with Moncada successfully tendering for a second 94.5 MWp phase, the total cost of the scheme will be 240 million (around US$307 million).
Moncada has said it will finance 25% of the project, while the rest will be raised by Standard Bank of South Africa. The contract signed by the South African Department of Energy and Moncada’s Solar Capital De Aar subsidiary has been underwritten by Hollard Insurance.
Moncada has a total of 536 MWp worth of photovoltaic projects planned in South Africa and Bulgaria, having announced plans in March to develop a 16 MW plant in the latter country.
The South African government has set a target of generating 42% of its power from renewables by 2020 and plans to invest an estimated $7.6 billion in renewables by that date. As part of that timetable, the government plans to reach 3.5 GW of installed photovoltaic and solar thermal capacity by 2016.