We don’t need to tell you that load shedding sucks. Everybody knows. But a pair of solar projects, recently approved by South Africa’s energy regulator, could make it suck a little less.
Two new 100MW solar plants have been approved by NERSA. The projects will be constructed in the North West Province, because that’s where we keep all the sunlight, apparently. They’ll be handled by a company called Sola Group, on behalf of a group called Tronox Mineral Sands. Apparently.
NERSA has granted the license for these two new 100MW solar plants under SA’s new rules that allow for this capacity to be built faster than usual. Both projects will be ready to go by July this year. After that, construction can start. It’s expected that Sola’s two plants will take about fourteen months to put into operation. So some time in September 2023, another 200MW of power should be available in South Africa.
That’s a drop in the bucket, compared to Eskom’s 18,000MW needs this week. But it’s better than nothing. Other 100MW solar projects are already on the go. Throw up enough of these in the desert and South Africa’s load shedding… will still be here, but maybe we can go to Stage 1 during winter? Maybe?
Sola Group CEO Dom Wills said, “The significance of this first move is that it will pave the way for many more large-scale private projects to receive approvals to be able to contribute to generation capacity to the grid. This is a clear signal that private power is achievable and there are private funders that are excited to finance this market.”