British mining company Anglo American and EDF Renewables, the subsidiary of French group EDF, have joined forces to develop a regional renewable energy ecosystem (RREE) in South Africa. The companies have launched a joint venture named Envusa Energy which will focus on deploying wind and solar projects in the country.
EDF and Anglo American signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March 2022 to explore the renewable ecosystem’s development for Anglo’s operational power requirements as well as to support the resilience of electricity supply systems in South Africa. The RREE also aims to catalyze economic activity in the renewable energy sector, supporting the decarbonization of energy in the country.
The joint venture Envusa Energy will launch a pipeline of wind and solar energy projects with a capacity of more than 600 MW. This is the first phase of Envusa’s projects which is expected to build an ecosystem to generate 3-5 GW of renewable energy by 2030.
Tristan de Drouas, CEO at EDF Renewables in South Africa, assured to bring their global expertise in the development, design, and delivery of renewable energy infrastructure to Envusa Energy. The partnership with Anglo American confirms the company’s long-term perspectives in South Africa. The first tranche of these projects will be added to the almost 1 GW that EDF Renewables will be developing in the country by 2023.
According to EDF, the portfolio of wind and solar projects will be fully financed before the start of their construction in 2023. The renewable energy farms, which are located away from Anglo American’s mining facilities, will feed their output into the national utility Eskom’s grid.
The roll-out of the renewable energy ecosystem will also serve as a source for green hydrogen production for Anglo American’s nuGen Zero Zero Emission Haulage Solution (ZEHS). It is a fleet of hydrogen-powered mine haul trucks that will completely replace the company’s heavy-duty vehicles, accomplishing on-site diesel emission reductions and supporting the development of South Africa’s Hydrogen Valley.
Envusa Energy is also exploring a range of community partnership models as committed by Anglo American and EDF Renewables, that will enable host communities to share in the benefits created by the RREE along its value chain. The RREE is expected to generate new economic opportunities and contribute towards unlocking sustainable growth and development potential in South Africa.