This on-ground solar project of 86 MWp plant is located in Prieska, in the North- Eastern Cape province and should produce about 210 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, it is equivalent to the power consumption of about 45,000 people.
Once the construction is completed, the plant will sell electricity to Eskom under a power purchase agreement. Finalization of the financing arrangements of the project is scheduled for mid-2014. The construction phase is expected to be launched in the second half of 2014 for commissioning in mid-2015.
The center will incorporate the Oasis™ Power Blocks from SunPower (a subsidiary of Total), a fully integrated solution, equipped with solar panels and high-performance single-axis trackers.
The amount of investment is about $ 200 million. It will be 80% financed by unsecured loans by South African banks. The remaining 20% will be provided by Total Calulo Renewable Energy, Mulilo Renewable Energy, IDC, Futuregrowth Asset Management (Pty) Ltd and the local community, in proportion to their respective participation in the project.
"We are delighted to have been selected by the Department of Energy for this project solar ground station. This shows that we are able to provide our subsidiary SunPower, the best technology at a competitive price" said Philippe Boisseau, President of Marketing & Services and New Energy and member of the Executive Committee of Total.
"After the launch in Chile's largest solar merchant project in the world, the South African project again illustrates the beneficial effect of Total's leverage on the international development of SunPower" said Tom Werner, Chief Executive General SunPower. "SunPower 's experience in the construction of solar power plants around the world, combined with the historical presence of Total South Africa will have a positive impact on the region, in particular for local employment. "