ACWA Power, a leading Saudi developer, investor and operator of power generation and water desalination plants in 13 countries and the lead shareholder in the Redstone concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, announced the commencement of construction on the 100 MW Redstone project following achievement of financial close. At ZAR 11.6 billion total investment, the Redstone project is the largest renewable energy investment in South Africa to date.
The project has secured financing from leading international and South African financial institutions including African Development Bank (AfDB), ABSA Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), CDC Group, Nedbank Limited, Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), Investec Bank, Sanlam Life Insurance and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC).
Through the successful mobilisation of international project finance, Redstone CSP has facilitated approximately ZAR 7 billion in foreign direct investment to fund and support the strategic energy transition goals of the country. ACWA Power’s co-shareholders in the project include the Central Energy Fund, Pele Green Energy and the local community.
Located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa, the Redstone plant will be equipped with a 12-hour thermal storage system that will deliver clean and reliable electricity to nearly 200,000 households round the clock. Commencement of operations is scheduled for Q4 2023.
Redstone CSP will displace an estimated 440 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. The project is certified under the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme and aligned with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement which seeks to limit global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius.
In addition to efficiently delivering clean energy to the national grid, the Redstone project will also offer tangible socioeconomic value through offering job opportunities and utilising local supply chains. The project will reach close to 44% local content on procurement during the construction period; create more than 2,000 construction jobs at peak, with about 400 from the local community; and create approximately 100 permanent direct jobs during the operating period.
As part of its implicit social contract, Redstone CSP will provide value-adding ancillary services required by the system operator at no cost to the local public utility Eskom, which marks a first for a renewable energy plant in the country.