GDF SUEZ is pleased to announce that the Kathu Solar Park project in South Africa, owned by a GDF SUEZ led consortium with South African partners, has been nominated ‘preferred bidder’ by the South African Department of Energy (DOE).
Kathu Solar Park is a 100 MW greenfield Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project with parabolic trough technology and equipped with a molten salt storage system that allows 4.5 hours of thermal energy storage. It is situated in the Northern Cape Province, 600 km south-west of the capital Pretoria.
The consortium, which is led by GDF SUEZ (approximately 49%) includes a group of South African investors comprising SIOC Community Development Trust, Investec Bank, Lereko Metier and Public Investment Corporation.
Kathu Solar Park was awarded preferred bidder in the third round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) led by the DOE. The preferred bidders will be invited to enter into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom first producer and supplier of electricity in South Africa.
Gérard Mestrallet, Chairman and CEO of GDF SUEZ commented: “GDF SUEZ is proud to be part of the REIPPP Programme. Kathu Solar Park strengthens our contribution to South Africa’s objective of establishing sustainable energy generation and promoting local economic development. The project is in line with our Group’s effort to become a leader in the transition to clean energy.”
In 2012, GDF SUEZ was awarded the West Coast 1 wind energy project under the second REIPPP round. The 94 MW wind farm started construction in June 2013 and recently produced its first electricity in test phase, ahead of schedule. Twelve of its forty-seven 2 MW wind turbines have been erected to date. Commercial operation is expected in mid-2015.
In Africa, GDF SUEZ has interests in four assets under construction with a gross capacity of 2,485 MW: the 94 MW West Coast 1 wind farm and the 670 MW Avon & 335 MW Dedisa peaking plants in South Africa; and the 2×693 MW Safi thermal project in Morocco. Recently the Group started full commercial operation of the 301 MW Tarfaya wind farm in Morocco. GDF SUEZ has 18,000 MW renewable generation capacity worldwide.