Exxaro Resources and its subsidiary Cennergi unveiled the Lephalale Solar Project (LSP) on November 16, marking a ceremonial start to the utility-scale behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic (PV) plant located in Limpopo.
The 68 MW capacity plant will directly supply power to Exxaro’s Grootegeluk coal mine under a 25-year agreement, meeting around 30% of the mine’s total power needs.
The initiative is expected to reduce carbon emissions at the mine by approximately 26%, resulting in annual energy cost savings of around R100 million.
The R1.56-billion project, funded partly by Exxaro and partly by Standard Bank and Nedbank, is scheduled for completion in early Q2 2025, contributing to Exxaro’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
The project involves engaging the local community, potentially employing 300 to 400 people during peak construction, and exploring options for supplying power to the surrounding community in the future.
The use of 129,000 solar panels, imported from China due to scale limitations in South Africa’s solar industry, marks a significant step in Exxaro’s renewable energy journey.
The project aligns with the company’s Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy, emphasizing self-generation and organic growth aspirations.