JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE Redstone Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in Northern Cape, South Africa, has received a major financial boost following an agreement between the Overseas Private Investment
Corporation (OPIC), United States based energy developer, SolarReserve, and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power have signed.
The agreement recognises OPIC’s $400 million commitment of debt financing to support the development.
The Redstone project is a 100 megawatt (MW) clean energy facility that will be connected to the South African national grid. Using SolarReserve’s cutting-edge CSP technology, Redstone’s molten salt storage capability will deliver consistent baseload electricity, even after the sun sets, which is a critical development in a country where frequent power outages have been cited as an obstacle to economic growth.
OPIC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, said the development of the Redstone project would benefit the South African people, the international clean energy sector and the role of U.S. leadership in emerging market development.
“It’s impressive that Redstone brings together the innovative U.S. private sector leadership and technology of SolarReserve, the international experience of ACWA Power, and large-scale catalytic financing from OPIC.
This sort of change-making partnership is at the heart of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative and creates broad, lasting impact in international development,” she said.
SolarReserve’s CEO, Kevin Smith, said the Redstone project marked important technology advancements for Africa in clean, renewable power, and a demonstration of US developed technology that is leading the world
in large scale solar energy storage.
“In addition, the project’s delivered electricity price is the lowest of any CSP project in the country to date. We appreciate OPIC’s support and look forward to working with our partner ACWA Power and the communities
where the project is located to help South Africa at a time when it critically needs new generation to support growth of its economy,” said Smith.
Patrick Gaspard, US Ambassador to South Africa, expressed excitement about the progress forged by OPIC and these private sector leaders on the Redstone project.
OPIC support to the Redstone project is also a significant milestone for United States President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, of which OPIC is a key contributor.
Power Africa aims to bring new power access to the more than 600 million sub-Saharan Africans currently living without energy access.
– CAJ News