The Jasper project was selected by the South African Department of Energy in May 2012 under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) in the second round of bidding. The project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom, the South African power utility. At a project cost of approximately ZAR2.3 billion ($260 million), the project will generate about 300 construction jobs and 50 permanent operational jobs. More indirect and induced jobs will also be generated across the supply chain during the construction phase and the 25-year operational phase.
Equity investment for the 96MW Jasper project has been provided by Google, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Kensani Capital Investments, SolarReserve, Intikon, Development Bank of South Africa and the P.E.A.C.E. Humansrus Fund, with Rand Merchant Bank providing preference share equity. Google got involved in the Jasper project by becoming an equity investor at the financial close and will provide funding furing construction.
The Jasper project is located adjacent to the 75MW Lesedi solar energy project which broke ground in February 2013. The Jasper and Lesedi projects, as well as the Letsatsi project located near Bloemfontein, put the consortiums total portfolio of solar projects at 244MW. This is about 20% share of South Africas solar energy market.
"The Jasper Project will not only produce clean, renewable energy, but will also bring hundreds of quality jobs to the region. Following on from the Lesedi and Letsatsi deals which closed in Round 1 of the South African Renewable Energy IPP Programme, RMB is again proud to be involved in another successful project with SolarReserve, Kensani and Intikon," said Daniel Zinman from the Rand Merchant Bank.