France’s HDF Energy awarded land parcels by Eskom to develop 1500 MW solarPV/ 3500 MWh hydrogen power

  • Having been awarded 1782 hectares of land to develop several green baseload power plants in the province of Mpumalanga by Eskom under a public tender, the French-based IPP is proud to be part of the Just Energy Transition (JET) in South Africa. 

HDF Energy is a global pioneer in hydrogen power. HDF Energy develops and operates high capacity large-scale Hydrogen-to-Power infrastructure to provide firm or on-demand electricity from renewable energy sources (wind or solar), combined with high power MultiMegawatt fuel cells.

This land leased by HDF Energy represent six different locations where 1500 MW of photovoltaic plants will be deployed with more than 3500 MWh of hydrogen-based long-term storage to serve more than 1.4 million inhabitants all day and all night, all year round. These projects represent an investment of USD 3 billion. The power will tie in directly at Majuba and Tatuka coal power stations.

Eskom issued a request for proposal (RFP) in April 2022, which was followed by a meticulous selection process. The selected bidders will lease a total of 6184 hectares of land for a period of between 25 and 30 years each. 

With Mpumalanga being the heart of the JET in South Africa, there is a lot at stake. It is of great concern the way the energy transition is to be handled, specifically for communities and workers that have depended on the continued existence of the coal economy, and HDF has a bankable solution that can make a substantial and meaningful contribution to that process. 

Energy demand is increasing whereas coal power plants are planned to be decommissioned. There is a delicate balancing act at play. Time is of the essence; new capacities should be fast-to-deploy. This is where HDF’s Renewstable® technology becomes particularly attractive. 

“This is a very exciting result, and the team is more than ready to hit the ground running. While addressing immediate challenges related to the lack of baseload and dispatchable electricity, HDF Energy projects in South Africa will kick start the large-scale industrial deployment of the hydrogen economy in the country and create jobs in Mpumalanga for the workers of the coal industry in transition.” Says Nicolas Lecomte, HDF’s Director for Southern Africa. 

The HDF’s Renewstable® architecture will provide stable and dispatchable power thus adding stability to the grid. A Renewstable® power plant uses local sources of clean energy to enhance domestic production of electricity, reducing exposure to imported fuels, associated price volatility and supply risks. 

Author: Bryan Groenendaal


  1. Peter Constantatos on

    Very good news, however a big question mark is why Mpumalanga? This is hardly the best solar resource we have? Understand that this level of generation needs to tie into the grid, and existing infrastructure in this province is better than the Northern Cape, but still it’s only 1500MW and the 2 x 400kV lines from the Reef to the Cape could be a good solution?

    • It will mean that people currently employed in coal mines and old powerstations around here that will be shut down can then still be employed here and not lose jobs or dont have to relocate 1000 or more kilometres away. Almost everything needed is already here no more than 300km radius. Eg. suppliers, engineering’s, equipment etc.

      • Green Building Africa - Net Carbon Zero Buildings and Cities on

        My sources tell me that the coal power plants will remain operational until end of life so the value chain is not under any threat. HDF’s projects will compliment both coal power plants. A transition does not happen overnight. It takes decades.

      • Peter Harmse on

        This project will also count as France 🇫🇷 contribution to reduce their Carbon Footprint as with other Countries doing these projects all over Africa. However , all the new renewable efforts will not take South Africa off the coal grid in any case.

  2. That image is totally not Majuba Power station,correct on being situated between Amersfoort,Perdekop and Volksrust.

    • Green Building Africa - Net Carbon Zero Buildings and Cities on

      Well spotted! We have corrected this and thank you for pointing it out.

      • Green Building Africa - Net Carbon Zero Buildings and Cities on

        Please confirm if the image is now correct, thanks.

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