French renewable power producer Voltalia has announced the launch of the initial works for a 148 MW solar park in South Africa. The solar plant will supply power for a local subsidiary of Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto.
In October, Voltalia signed a 20-year corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) with Richard Bay Minerals (RBM), the South African mining company and a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. Under the contract, the solar plant will supply 300 GWh of renewable energy per year to RBM’s mining facilities in KwaZulu-Natal province.
Located in the Limpopo province, the 148 MW Bolobedu solar plant is expected to be completed by 2024. The initial construction phase of the solar power plant has been launched after the completion of site clearing, detailed engineering, and geotechnical studies, and purchasing of various equipment.
After completion, the solar plant will be the largest renewable energy project dedicated to the energy needs of a corporate body. The output will be sold under an off-take deal with the RBM. The solar plant will avoid 237,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to removing nearly 50,000 cars from the roads.
The launch of construction work of the solar power plant is fully in line with Voltalia’s objective of sourcing renewable power for its facilities and seeking alternative electrical supply as the country’s rolling power cuts hamper productivity. The energy producer
Sebastien Clerc, CEO of Voltalia, said that the construction work of their largest project in Africa started just two months after signing the CPPA with RBM. Voltalia is committed to helping its customers overcome the current energy crisis in the country and achieve their decarbonization goals.