July 7, 2014 - Scatec Solar has started commercial operations of a 40MW solar PV plant in South Africa. The Linde project will produce in excess of 90 million kWh annually; enough cover the electricity needs of around 20,000 households.
"The completion of the Linde project is a milestone that confirms Scatec Solar's strong position as an integrated independent power producer", Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar said. "I am very pleased with my team and partners who have been able to realize this complex project on time and on budget. We have built on the experience gained from our Kalkbult project, and have broadened this with our first installation of a solar tracker system which will increase the output from the plant considerably. Scatec Solar has for more than four years been actively developing project opportunities in South Africa, and we look forward to realize more projects for the benefit of the regions and the local communities in which we operate," Mr. Carlsen said.
The plant is located at Linde near Hanoverin the Northern Cape. The annual production will be approx. 94 million kWh per year, enough to cover the electricity demand of about 20,000 South African households. The power will be fed into the local grid and sold through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the national utility company, Eskom. Harvesting solar power through this plant represents CO2 abatements of almost 80 000 tons per year.
The local value creation of the project is substantial. The construction of the plant has provided significant local job opportunities in addition to utilizing local content to stimulate the nascent South African renewable industry. At Linde, Scatec Solar and sub-contractors have recruited and trained more than 350 employees at different levels ranging from technical skills to finance and project management. In peak periods, more than 340 employees - the majority from the local community - were working at the construction site.
A portion of the revenue from the plant as well as the project dividends will be earmarked Socio Economic Development initiatives in the area around the project site. The primary focus will be on skills development, educational and health initiatives.