South Africa has always been a prime location for solar power farms due to our climate and high rate of sunshine. The Jaspar solar farm in Kimberley is now one of Africa’s largest solar power projects, with many to follow. The construction of Jaspar was complete in October 2014 and it is fully operational. The rated capacity is 96 megawatts and Jaspar can produce about 180 000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually. This amount of natural renewable energy from the solar panels can power up to 80 000 South African homes.
South Africa’s renewable solar power farms are growing rapidly. Located close to Jaspar is another solar power farm. The Lesedi project that can produce 75 megawatt concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) called Redstone is underway.
The Jaspar solar power farm generated approximately 1 million man-hours of paid work during construction and created over 800 on site construction jobs. Overall making solar farms not only good for our planet but our economy. Currently South Africa has a goal of 18 gigawatts of renewable energy produced through solar panel farms by 2030. Making projects like Jaspar and Redstone perfect paving stones for the future of South Africa’s renewable energy source.
The total project value was 45% spent on ‘local content’ with the aim to increase the economic impact in the local area. A consortium of companies helped to develop this project consisting of the Solar Reserve, Kensani Group and Intokon Energy. All these companies are experienced in their fields and major developers of renewable energy. Financing came from a number of international and local investment sources, namely Google and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Intokon Energy and Solar Reserve with Rand Merchant Bank.
South Africa offers an abundance of sunlight and masses of open space making it the perfect location for solar power farms. In the future we hope that the majority of South African homes and business will run off renewable energy that is clean for our environment and lays the path for future generations to follow.
If you are interested in solar power installations for your home or business, complete our contact form and we’d be happy to look at the best solutions for you.