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Dubai firm wins bid for 120mw solar project in South Africa

More than 3.2 million solar panels will generate 3m kilowatt-hours of electricity annually

Dubai-based AMEA Power has been awarded a 120 megawatts (mw) solar photovoltaic (PV) project in South Africa as part of the sixth bid submission phase of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme.

The Doornhoek PV project will sell electricity to the state utility, Eskom, under a 20-year power purchase agreement, state-run WAM news agency reported.

AMEA Power is the majority shareholder in the $120 million project, and has partnered with a consortium wholly owned by African women, formed by Ziyanda Energy and Dzimuzwo Consulting.

To further support the development of the country, AMEA Power and its partners will form a community trust, which will own a share of the project, and contribute towards the economic development of communities close to the project.

Hussain Al Nowais, chairman of AMEA Power, said: “The awarding of this project is our first in South Africa and was granted in competition with other major renewable energy players.

“Over the next decade, the country will undergo a massive transition in its approach to electricity generation as the network decommissions large amounts of coal generation and adopts cleaner solutions like wind and solar.”

The solar project, which is located near the town of Klerksdorp in the North West Province, will generate more than 325gwh of clean energy per year and power around 25,000 households.

In total, the project is expected to offset 290,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The construction of the Doornhoek PV project will commence by mid-2023, and will make use of more than 45 percent of locally sourced materials and resources.

South Africa aims to increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix from 11 percent to 41 percent by 2030. The country also plans to decommission between 8gw and 12gw of coal-fired power plants over the next decade.

AMEA Power has a clean energy pipeline of over 6gw across 16 countries, the statement said.