This started after they were awarded the project under the Renewable Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Program. The site is currently under construction – and once it reaches completion will have a total solar capacity of 540MW, battery storage capacity of 225MW/1, 140MWh, and provide 150MW of dispatchable renewable power under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement.
Providing clean and affordable renewable energy is not the only driving motivation for Scatec. Being conscious of the environment, and the impact we have on it, is a key element of Scatec’s sustainability initiatives. This is what makes Scatec a unique renewable energy company.
With Quiver trees being on the national flora red list, Scatec’s main objective was to execute an operation to preserve the Quiver trees on site – and ensure an increase of the plant species in the local habitat.
Environmental & Social Manager, HP Van Heerden, had the following to say, “After conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment, we realised that the Kenhardt site is rich in biodiversity. We had to ensure that we take every precaution to minimise any environmental impact.”
Scatec therefore had a huge role to play to ensure that they preserve the branching succulent plants in the Kenhardt area.
The Quiver tree is known to grow slowly and is habitat specific – found in areas with extreme weather conditions. Climate change has not made things easier for Quiver trees, as they are struggling to grow as abundantly as they did in years gone by.
“Our Environmental license in the area gave us a very clear mandate to protect these trees while we work. Replanting these trees was never going to be an easy process. Scatec partnered with a specialist team that helped them navigate the process,” says Scatec’s sub-Saharan Africa executive VP Jan Fourie.
For every tree that was relocated, an additional ten Quiver Trees had to be planted. The Quiver tree was not an easy find. A nursery that stocked the special trees was in the Western Cape (where the Scatec team had to apply for a permit to transport the Quiver trees over the provincial border).
To date, the Quiver trees are growing into these beautiful and succulent trees. The pictures do not do them justice, you just must see them in real life.
“When you are next in the Kenhardt area, be sure to drive by the Scatec site to witness the beauty and appreciate the effort that the team put into replanting the Quiver trees to conserve them,” says Fourie.