Jasper solar power project is a 96MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant being developed in Northern Cape Province near Kimberly in South Africa. The plant will become one of the biggest solar power plants in Africa, upon completion.
The project will be developed and operated by California-based solar developer SolarReserve and its consortium partners Kensani and Intikon Energy. The project is designed to operate for more than 25 years.
The plant will generate clean, renewable energy sufficient to power more than 30,000 homes in South Africa. It is expected to offset 145,891t of carbon dioxide every year from the atmosphere.
Jasper solar power plant details
The Jasper solar power project is located adjacent to the 75MW Lesedi solar PV power plant which is expected to be operational by mid-2014.
“The Jasper solar project will be spread over in 180ha and comprise of more than 325,000 Yingli YL295P-35b multi-crystalline modules with a peak power rating of 295W.”
The Jasper solar project will be spread over in 180ha and comprise of more than 325,000 Yingli YL295P-35b multi-crystalline modules with a peak power rating of 295W.
The plant will also feature 78 INGECON® SUN PowerMax central inverters with 1MW AC rated power. The inverter is equipped with an advanced air cooling system, which helps in providing 1,019kW of peak power at temperatures up to 45ºC. The inverters comprise of a group of radial fans that provide air circulation inside the equipment thereby increasing its performance.
Development details and benefits of the South African solar power project
South African Department of Energy initiated the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to fulfil its commitment of developing 8,400MW of solar PV energy by 2030.
The consortium of SolarReserve, Kensani and Intikon Energy was awarded the Jasper project in the second round of the REIPPPP. It is the third project being undertaken by the consortium after the Lesedi and Letsatsisolar photovoltaic power plants which have an installed capacity of 75MW each.
“Apart from generating clean sustainable energy, the Jasper solar power plant will also promote economic development and help in job creation.”
Apart from generating clean sustainable energy, the Jasper solar power plant will also promote economic development and help in job creation. It is expected to create approximately 300 construction, and 50 permanent and operational jobs in addition to a number of indirect and induced jobs.
The project also planned to set aside a portion of the total projected revenues for promoting the enterprise and socio-economic development of the surrounding regions.
The entire power generated at the Jasper solar power project will be sold to Eskom, South Africa’s state-owned power utility, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Financing for the Jasper solar power plant
The total investment on the Jasper solar power plant is estimated to be ZAR 2.3bn (approximately $260m). Kensani Eaglestone Capital Advisory acted as the financial adviser for the project.
The project is being financed through a combination of equity and debt. The equity investment was made by a group of companies including Google, the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Kensani Capital Investments, SolarReserve, Intikon, Development Bank of South Africa, and the P.E.A.C.E. Humansrus Fund. Rand Merchant Bank also partly financed the project and also acted as the sole mandated lead arranger for the debt funding requirements.
Baker & McKenzie acted as the legal advisor for the financing.
The construction contract worth $150m was awarded to the consortium of Iberdrola and South African company Group Five. The contractual scope also includes the plant development, the transformer substation and a 132kV overhead power line, feeder lines, as well as plant operation and maintenance over the next 15 years.
Iberdrola subcontracted Yingli Green Energy for the supply of the PV modules. Ingeteam is the supplier of inverters, and control system for the Jasper PV plant.