The New Development Bank has agreed to offer a $180 million loan with sovereign guarantee to Eskom. The utility, which is based just outside of Johannesburg, plans to build new infrastructure to integrate 670 MW of unspecified renewables into the South African grid.
A 60 kW floating array was deployed by New Southern Energy at the reservoir of a fruit farm near Franschhoek, in the Western Cape Province. A second phase of the project will also include storage.
As national utility Eskom faces a financial and operational crisis, rumors are spreading that the government may ask independent power producers to renegotiate the tariffs of PPAs awarded in the first two rounds of its renewable energy program. South African solar association SAPVIA has already given short shrift to the idea.
As utility Eskom starts load shedding due to power plant failure, the 4 GW of wind and solar in the country are helping reduce energy shortages. Blue Horizon Energy Consulting Services’ Chris Ahlfeldt tells pv magazine renewables – rather than Eskom’s plans to expand conventional generation capacity – would provide a safer, cheaper solution to the power crisis.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a plan to rescue state-owned power company Eskom by separating it into three units. According to consultants Frost & Sullivan, although that may not be enough to completely address the utility’s financial crisis it may further encourage investment in renewables.
The production line would mean the Spanish company would comply with local content requirements. GPTech says its order book exceeds 400 MW, including 200 MW of large-scale projects in South Africa.
Chinese solar manufacturer Seraphim has announced plans for a 500 MW cell factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The company also plans to expand an existing 300 MW module factory in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region by 200 MW.
Carbon Tracker has released a report claiming it is cheaper, in many markets, to construct new renewable generation assets instead of running legacy coal-fired power plants. Billions could be saved for customers, while profits in the two-digit billion-dollar range look set to be lost by the coal industry.
Norwegian developer Scatec has upped its holding in three operational PV projects in South Africa. Each of the plants is operating under a 20-year PPA with utility Eskom. Scatec’s investments in the country are secured by guarantees from the World Bank Group.
Thin-film manufacturer says its skyscraper product, which can be retrofitted, will open up a new BIPV marketplace – but spokesman sidesteps question of whether Trump’s solar duties will apply in the US.
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