- Developers and investors seeking prime solar PV opportunities, would do well to listen to Noxolo Mtembu at the forthcoming Solar Power Africa conference happening this week 16 to 18 February 2022 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
- Why? Because the Project Manager, from Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA), is set to outline the real outputs of the province’s actions to translate policy into practice.
- Mtembu is participating in the session, “Being good stewards of the land” at 3:30 pm this afternoon and is set to have an update for developers and investors that will showcase the strides provincial governments are taking to turn policy into practice.
- There is still time, register to attend Noxolo’s session HERE
Organised by Messe Frankfurt, in partnership with the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA) and supported by RMB, Solar Power Africa is a 3 day event where attendees will benefit from direct access to expert insights and solutions to a range of challenges, as well as key trends and developments in the renewable energy market.
“In line with the national policy directives to increase and maximise renewable energy sources, Gauteng undertook to scope out the appropriate sites and potential energy sources that we could leverage. We wanted to be proactive, utilising land to its best, whether that be through enhanced agriculture or solar farms,” explains Mtembu.
“GIFA has been able to identify up to 11 sites in the West Rand area that have been made available through partnerships with local mining houses. This land is not mine impacted and has the potential to be used for agriculture as well as renewables.
“Feasibility studies confirmed that the topography and radiation levels make these sites highly suitable for solar farm clusters. In addition, these sites are all located in close proximity to connection points to the grid, which should give developers and investors additional confidence.”
The vision of the Gauteng Infrastructure Financing Agency (GIFA) is to ensure alternative funding for Gauteng’sstrategic infrastructure projects. Working to translate policy directives into action, the team worked to understand the market and needs of potential private sector investors.
“Between Bid Windows for REIPPPP, we were able to complete additional environmental assessments for 9 of the sites, which has given us the confidence that these sites will be successful through the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process,” adds Mtembu.
“We are confident that these sites will prove attractive to investors and developers looking to maximise the opportunity provided through the changes to the wheeling frameworks. Now is the time to capitalise on the gazetted amendments to the electricity regulations, enabling municipalities to develop their own power generation projects and these sites are ideal.”
In addition to the 9 sites made available to lease by Gauteng Province, there are 2 additional sites that Sibanye-Stillwater mining house are releasing to the market. At 50MW each, these sites also come with the added benefit of having successfully completed the EIA process, with full planning and permits in place.
“Opportunities like this do not come about too often. Developers and investors can have confidence that GIFA has undertaken the appropriate due diligence to ensure these sites have the infrastructure, radiation and topography to deliver successful solar farms.
“We believe in translating policy into practice in Gauteng. Delivering on the just transition will take government creatively with the private sector to innovate and deliver tangible actions that move policy off the page and into reality.”
GIFA will be engaging the market on available sites and lease structuring in the coming months.
The strength and depth of the solar PV and storage sector will be on full display at the Solar Power Africa with opportunities for investment across the country. The conference will run over 3 days, and will include 18 sessions and over 70 speakers. There will also be a free to attend exhibition, with over 60 top suppliers to the sector.
Link to the full list of conference speakers HERE
Link to the full programme HERE
You can still register to attend this premier event focussing exclusively on the solar industry in South Africa and the rest of the continent. Register to attend HERE