IPP Acwa Power secures US$500m funding for its Redstone solar power plant in Northern Cape

SOUTH AFRICA – Saudi Arabian independent power producer (IPP) Acwa Power, has raised US&500 million from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Absa Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), CDC Group, Nedbank, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Investec Bank and Sanlam Life Insurance to finance the construction of Redstone concentrated solar power plant (CSP).

Following the announcement of the fundraiser, construction work on the 100 MW capacity facility is set to begin.

The announcement is an important milestone for this concession granted to Acwa Power since 2015, under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

The facility, which is now entering the construction phase, will require a total investment of US$828.4 million.

Acwa Power is part of a consortium that also includes Central Energy Fund and Pele Green Energy. The local community will also be a shareholder in the future solar thermodynamic power plant (CSP).

“The Redstone CSP will displace approximately 440 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year”

The plant will have a two-tank direct molten salt storage system providing 12 hours of energy storage at full load, equivalent to 1,200 MWh of electricity generation, avoiding the need for backup fuel.

The Independent Power Producer plans to bring its CSP into commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The facility will have a capacity of 100 MW and will be able to power 200 000 South African homes. 

“The Redstone CSP will displace approximately 440 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The project is certified by the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme and aligns with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius,” said Acwa Power.

The Paddy Padmanathan-led company will sell its output to South African state-owned utility Eskom under a 20-year power contract (PPA).

To connect the plant to the national grid, a new 132 kV switchyard is to be built, as well as a 34 kilometre  long 132 kV transmission line.

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