- Seriti Resources and Seriti Green have signed a power purchase deal for a 155MW wind farm.
- The project will be the largest wind farm in South Africa and the first in Mpumalanga.
- The 155MW marks the first phase of a larger 900MW project.
- For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.
Seriti has signed a landmark power purchase agreement (PPA) which will see the construction of a 155MW wind power project in Mpumalanga – the largest in South Africa and the first wind project in the province - kick off in the next few months.
The PPA between Seriti Green and Seriti Resources has a 20-year underpin and is anticipated to supply 75% of the power needs of Seriti's Mpumalanga coal mines at a significantly lower cost than power from Eskom.
"There are [many] detractors that don't believe that there's wind in Mpumalanga," said Seriti Green CEO Peter Venn.
"This is the heartland of energy in South Africa, and transforming the landscape over the next two or three decades to transition in a mindful way to renewable energy is important.
"Working with our partners, both Standard Bank and RMB, we are very comfortable that we are going to have a successful wind farm in Mpumalanga," he said.
The announcement comes less than six months after Seriti Resources - one of South Africa's largest coal miners - announced its acquisition of Windlab and the launch of Seriti Green.
With the heads of terms signed for the PPA, construction on the R4 billion project is anticipated to begin in the first half of this year.
The 155MW marks the first phase of a larger 900MW project which Seriti Green aims to build out over the next three years at an estimated cost of R25 billion.
The overall project will also include 800MWh of storage capacity.
Some R1.5 billion of the R4 billion cost for phase 1 will fund the grid infrastructure needs of the project. About half of this infrastructure will be owned and maintained by Seriti Green, while the other half will form part of Eskom's national grid.
"We want to participate as progressively, and as collaboratively as possible in the Just Energy Transition this continent is facing and the journey that we traverse," said Seriti Resources Mike Teke.
"It is imperative that while we try to take this journey, we take along the communities within which we operate [and] we take along the strategy of this country to make sure that we are energy independent, we have security of energy, and it's affordable, and it's accessible to everybody."
Asked about the potential for Seriti Green to participate in green hydrogen developments, Venn said the immediate focus is getting electrons on the grid to alleviate economically crippling load shedding in South Africa.
While there are potential short-term solutions to ease the intensity of load shedding on the economy, the only long-term solution is new power generation projects such as this one, Venn said.
"The only way we have security of supply in the [next five to 15 years] is new generation," he said.