SA solar plan draws interest

2010-10-30 07:59
Upington – South Africa's plan to build what could become the world's biggest solar project has drawn keen interest from investors even though it is still in its infancy, an official said on Friday.

More than 400 investors and solar industry insiders from around the world converged on the town of Upington in South Africa's arid Northern Cape province this week for a two-day conference aimed at generating investor interest in plans for a 5 000 megawatt solar park at the edge of the Kalahari Desert.

The park, whose estimated price tag is R150bn, would provide one-eighth of South Africa's current generation capacity, helping end the country's reliance on coal and the power shortages that pummelled its economy in 2008.

Speaking at the close of the conference, Ompi Aphane, acting deputy director general of the department of energy, said investors were "very excited" about the project even though it is still in the planning stage.

"There's a lot that's out there in the market about our urgent need for capacity and I think investors want to take advantage of that, particularly if it's clean energy," he told reporters.

"There are concrete financial proposals that have been received, notwithstanding the fact that some of the transaction issues have not been resolved."

Aphane said officials received a billion-dollar investment proposal from a European development firm and several others from firms around the world.

Development risk

"It's unbelievable how some of the developers want to take development risk and put their money into the project even without any definition of the process," he said.

South Africa unveiled plans for the park in September after a study by the Clinton Climate Initiative indicated that the area around Upington has some of the best conditions in the world for solar power.

The energy ministry says the government would provide infrastructure for the project, then lease out land to private developers who would finance and build individual projects that would sell power to the national grid.

But officials say the government still needs to conduct a feasibility study and decide exactly how the power purchase deals would work.

The energy ministry has set a production target of 1 000 megawatts by 2012 and 5 000 megawatts by 2020.

If it reaches full capacity, the park would be five times bigger than the Blythe solar power plant, which won approval on Monday to begin construction in southern California and is currently on track to become the world's largest solar project.
- SAPA
Read more on:    solar power
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

The route of the 2015 Absa Cape Epic has been announced and it promises to be as challenging as ever!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

4 exercise excuses and how to beat them
Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being challenged...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.