4 years ago

Northern Cape Business 2019/20 edition

  • Text
  • Africa
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  • Development
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  • Mining
  • Upington
  • Solar
  • Renewable
Since its launch in 2009, Northern Cape Business has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Northern Cape Province. The 2019/20 edition is officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism. Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. In addition to comprehensive overviews of sectors of the economy, this publication has a particular focus on specific, packaged investment opportunities. The massive potential represented by the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project and the rapid progress being made by Sol Plaatje University are also highlighted in this edition.

OVERVIEW Renewable

OVERVIEW Renewable energy Technical innovation comes to the Northern Cape. SECTOR INSIGHT The tower at Khi Solar One is one of South Africa’s tallest structures. The renewable energy revolution is speeding up. In recent months, landmarks such as the start of commercial operations by the 100MW Kathu Solar Park and the reaching of financial closure of the 147MW Roggeveld Wind Farm mark what can be described as the first phase of the coming of renewable energy to South Africa. In less than a decade, an entirely new sector has been created through legislation that invited local and foreign investors to bid for and then build renewable energy generation plants. South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) requires 20 000MW of renewable energy by 2030. That will be achieved mainly through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The wind and solar parks now spreading over the vast spaces of the Northern Cape indicate that renewable energy has well and truly arrived. Projects such as Kathu Solar Park, a concentrating solar power (CSP) project, and the Roggeveld Wind Farm are indicative of the large scale of most of the energy generation that is being rolled out, but at Black Rock Mine solar power is being put to use on a smaller, but no less important scale. To light the intersections leading to the mine, BEKA Schréder has installed solar-powered street lights. The 2018 signing ceremony by new Energy Minister Jeff Rabebe restarted the REIPPPP when he signed off on projects totalling R56-billion that will add 2 300MW to the national grid. There had been a long delay in the process as national utility Eskom argued against accepting more power purchase agreements while they had a surplus. Most of South Africa’s electricity comes from coal and Eskom is building two huge coal-fired power stations. When a group of dignitaries gathered a month after that important signing ceremony to inaugurate a solar plant that covers 300ha in the Northern Cape, there was therefore a lot of optimism in the air. National government’s confirmation of its commitment to the REIPPPP is vital for growth. Approximately 60% of the projects so far allocated have been in the nation’s sunniest province. Xina Solar One is located at Pofadder on the N14 between Upington and Springbok. The R9.4-billion project is a joint venture between Spanish energy firm Abengoa Solar, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and a community trust representing the local population. The plant is Abengoa’s third in the Northern Cape. Kaxu Solar One is also near Pofadder but Khi Solar One is closer to Upington. All three use concentrated solar power which reflects the sun’s rays NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2019/20 58

OVERVIEW during the day in to a molten salt storage system. The energy is then slowly released during the night. The 205m tower that collects the rays at the Khi Solar One site is one of the tallest structures in South Africa. The image across two pages that introduces the sector overviews (pages 38 and 39) shows the tower at Khi Solar One. The Northern Cape is the natural home for the generation of solar power. Long-term annual direct normal irradiance (DNI) at Upington is 2 816kWh/m², according to a survey done for Stellenbosch University by Slovakian company GeoModal Solar. South Africa’s national average is among the best in the world. Stellenbosch University’s Solar Thermal Energy Research Group has six sites monitoring irradiation levels. The small towns of Postmasburg and Groblershoop lie between Upington and Kimberley. They are modest settlements which have ticked along in support of surrounding farmers with some diamond mining and wine cultivation. They are now the centre of some of the world’s most advanced technological innovation in concentrated solar power. Saudi Arabian electricity group ACWA Power has won approval for the 100MW Redstone project near Postmasburg and the 50MW Bokpoort CSP plant near Groblershoop is in operation. Large wind projects are also winning approval in the Northern Cape. The commissioning of the 100MW De Aar Wind Power Project brings together Mulilo Renewable Energy and the China Longyuan Power Group Corporation. Commercial operations have begun on Khobab Wind Farm and Loeriesfontein Wind Farm, collectively providing 280MW via 61 wind turbines. The projects were developed by Lekela Power, a joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power. Noblesfontein (main picture) was one of the earliest wind farms to be constructed in the Northern Cape, about 40km from Victoria West. Spanish company Gestamp Wind was an early investor. The 147MW Roggeveld Wind Farm, which has 47 Nordex wind ONLINE RESOURCES IPP projects: National Energy Regulator of South Africa: South African Photovoltaic Industry Association: South African Renewable Energy Council: South African Wind Energy Association: ACWA Power’s Bokpoort CSP project uses innovative technology. (Image: Abengoa). turbines and was developed by G7 and then taken over by Building Energy, will operate commercially in the first quarter of 2021. The support of two of South Africa’s biggest institutional investors, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), has been crucial in getting the renewable energy sector off the ground. They have also played a role in helping communities fund their participation in community trusts. According to Business Day, the PIC has so far invested in 16 unlisted projects and its total investment stands at R11-billion. The IDC’s 24 projects are valued at R14-billion and will contribute 1 100MW to the national power grid. 59 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2019/20

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