Sonnedix consortium closes deal for 86 MW PV plant in South Africa

A consortium led by France-based global solar independent power producer Sonnedix has closed a deal for a large-scale solar PV power project in the Northern Cape of South Africa with a total capacity of 86 MW.

Sonnedix said on Monday that the consortium signed all of the main contracts for the project in December, including financing agreements with Nedbank and Standard Bank, engineering procurement and construction (EPC) arrangements with Juwi Renewable Energies and a power purchase agreement with Eskom, the South African electricity public utility.

Sonnedix is working with South African renewable energy developer Mulilo, which is on board as a minority partner. Construction of the plant is set to begin in the first quarter of the year.

South Africa’s Department of Energy selected the project under the third bidding window of the national Renewable Energy Procurement Program in October 2013.

“This first closing in South Africa is a considerable milestone for our company,” said Sonnedix President Franck Constant. “It confirms the growth strategy and added value of Sonnedix in new markets where clean renewable electricity is in high demand and cost effective compared to conventional power.”

Constant added that the group was looking to increase its presence in South Africa’s power supply industry “for years to come.”

Rentia van Tonder, head of Renewables for Standard Bank, said, “The buy-in by banks to the entire REIPP programme demonstrates the understanding by the country’s financial institutions that innovative funding models can have a profound and positive influence on environmental sustainability."