4MW Kruisvallei Mini Hydro Plant Commissioned in South Africa

  • The 4MW Kruisvallei hydro-electric power plant in South Africa has been commissioned.
  • The power station is located on the Ash River between Clarens and Bethlehem in the Free State Province on 15 hectares of land.
  • Developer/IPP Red Rocket, was awarded this concession under the 4th round of the REIPPP tender.

The facility will be managed, operated and maintained by Red Rocket Asset Management and O&M Companies respectively. This is the first project in its larger portfolio that has been undertaken using the company’s fully integrated business model,” said Matteo Brambilla, Red Rocket CEO.

The project is unique in that it has two run-of-river hydropower plants (split turbines) with a combined capacity of 4MW which together will generate around 24GWh per annum providing power for about 1,916 households.

Related news: 4.3MW Stortemelk Hydro Project in South Africa wins highest praise

The Ash River flows vary from approximately 15m3 to 40m3 depending on the release schedule from the Lesotho Highlands Scheme. It is estimated that approximately 1 billion m3 of water will flow through each turbine each year.

The project capex, rounded off at USD24.5million, was put up by Red Rocket partners investors H1 Holdings (46.5% stake) and the Facility for Investment in Renewable Small Transactions (FIRST) provided USD15.4 million.

FIRST was established by KfW Development Bank (KfW), the German government’s development bank, and RMB. It was set up as a debt funding platform with RMB contributing R1bn and KfW R300m. Initially targeted at the now-stalled small projects independent power producers programme (SPIPP), a department of energy initiative, FIRST has since expanded its mandate to include small renewable energy projects outside the SPIPP programme.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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