The construction of South Africa’s largest renewable energy project by ACWA Power has commenced and it is financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF). The construction had started, after raising $828 million in funds from a set of South African and international banks. The banks that have offered to fund are ABSA Bank, CDC Group, African Development Bank (AfDB), Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), Nedbank Limited, and more.
The project will hold a capacity to power 200,000 households with a 12-hour thermal storage system after the completion. With this capacity, it is expected to provide reliable and clean energy for 24 hours. The power plant is expected to start operating on the 100 MW Redstone project by the fourth quarter of 2023.
The leading developer based out of Saudi – ACWA Power, is a renowned financier and operator of power and water desalination plants. The company works in around 13 countries. It holds the highest shares in the Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa. Co-shareholders in the present project with ACWA Power are the local community, Central Energy Fund, and Pele Green Energy.
The enormous renewable energy plant – Redstone project with more than ZAR 11 billion investment is located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Since the project succeeded in international project finance, the countries’ goals for energy transition got financial assistance as the Redstone CSP contributed nearly ZAR 7 billion in foreign direct investment.
The site area is spread across 648 hectares of land. The project shows commitment and ambition to deliver clean energy which leads to the much-required energy transition which also promotes socio-economic development. The project anticipates impact on the community development with the combined efforts of the private sector and finance partners. It also will be able to address man-made and climatic threats.
A shift of an estimated 440 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year is expected from Redstone CSP. The project is compliant with the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme and follows the standards and shares the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement that entails keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. Not only will the project support the socio-economic development, but it will also add value to the community by direct impact by creating employment opportunities. Consequently, it will improve and utilize local supply chains. It is estimated to procure nearly 44% local content and offer over 2,000 construction jobs during the construction period.