South African solar power producer Sola Group has signed land lease agreements with utility Eskom Holdings SOC for sites that will become home to two renewable power parks totalling 345 MW.
The large-scale plants will be built on underutilised land areas owned by Eskom in Mpumalanga province, Sola Group said on Thursday. The utility awarded the contracts in the first round of its land leasing programme which is expected to add 2 GW to the grid.
Sola Group intends to sign corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) for the future output of the plants, either with existing clients or new counterparties. The company said it intends to advance the projects “as fast as possible.”
Sola Group was one of the four bidders selected to sign contracts for 6,184 ha (15,281 acres) of land around Eskom’s Majuba and Tutuka power stations. The list also includes HDF Energy South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Red Rocket SA (Pty) Ltd and Mainstream Renewable Power Developments South Africa (Pty) Ltd. The investors will lease the parcels for 25-30 years.
With the land lease tender, Eskom seeks to ease the country’s constrained power system and secure capacity that will be operating after the end of its coal-fired power station lifespan. The plants are expected to be hooked to the grid in three-four years.
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