SunEdison bags OPIC loan for 60-MW S African solar park
Nov 6, 2013 - US-based SunEdison Inc (NYSE:SUNE) said today it had obtained a ZAR-1.8-billion (USD 176m/EUR 130) loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC) for a 60-MW solar park in South Africa.
The company, former MEMC Electronic Materials Inc, explained that the foreign debt funding from OPIC would meet 75% of the Boshof solar project cost. The solar power plant in the Free State province near Kimberley is expected to commence power generation in the closing quarter of 2014 under a 20-year power purchase agreement with local utility Eskom and the South African Department of Energy.
SunEdison holds a 51% stake in the solar park, while the rest is in the hands of local companies.
The US company is developing the project through a South Africa-based unit. It calculates that some 50% of the total project value will go for locally made components and service agreements with entities in South Africa. The single-axis trackers for the solar plant will also be made locally by SunEdison’s subsidiary.
The Boshof project is one of the many green energy installations to become a reality thanks to South Africa’s Renewable Energy Procurement Programme (REIPP). Under that initiative the country aims to install 3,725 MW of renewable energy capacity by 2016.
SunEdison is also involved in two more solar projects in the country, this time in the Limpopo province, with a combined capacity of 58 MW.