Construction is scheduled to commence next year on a R1 billion solar energy project aimed at providing electricity to the Tharisa mine in South Africa’s North West province. The Rustenburg-based project is designed to generate up to 40MW of photovoltaic power to supply electricity to Tharisa Minerals’ platinum group metals and chrome mine.
Tharisa announced its intention in September 2021 to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieve net carbon neutrality by 2050. The Buffelspoort Solar Energy project responds to the current energy challenges and load shedding in South Africa, as Tharisa aims to enhance the stability of its electricity supply by diversifying away from reliance on the state utility.
Chariot Transitional Power pledged the investment at the fifth South African Investment Conference hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April.
Chariot’s CEO, Benoit Garrivier, confirmed that construction of the solar energy facility is set to commence in the second quarter of 2024. Chariot focuses on developing, financing, and operating renewable projects in Africa and selling renewable energy to private off-takers, making South Africa an important market for the company due to its favorable conditions for renewable energy projects.
The project is expected to create around 200 jobs during the construction phase, benefiting local communities. President Ramaphosa’s approval of an increase in the generation license exemption threshold for embedded generation facilities from 1MW to 100MW in June 2021 has facilitated such initiatives, allowing industries to generate electricity for self-consumption without the need for a Generation License from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA).