A South African gold mine in Mpumalanga, Pan African Resources, says it is the first integrated project of more than 1MW to receive full Eskom grid code compliance.
The company built the 10 MW Elikhulu solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Evander mine in Mpumalanga. JUWI Renewable Energies developed the solar plant.
Elikhulu solar plant
The grid connection comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa approved an increase in the licensing threshold for renewable energy projects from 1MW to 100MW in 2021.
Richard Doyle, CEO of JUWI, said the solar plant will reduce pressure on the national electricity grid and hopefully ease the plight of offloading.
“We are delighted that Elikhulu is the first large-scale customer-behind-the-meter project to receive Eskom’s seal of approval, confirming that the project adheres to very rigorous grid connection standards,” said Doyle .
Barry Naicker, head of environment, social and governance at Pan African Resources, said the grid-connected solar plant is a “tipping point in South Africa’s transition to clean energy”.
“For Pan African Resources, mining is also about sustainability and going ‘beyond compliance’, which means we are committed to implementing renewable energy solutions across all our operations in South Africa,” he said. said Naicker.
“We are grateful that the Elikhulu PV plant is online and operating efficiently, and pleased that it is the first project of its kind to be connected to the South African grid,” he added.
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Agreements signed with renewable energy suppliers
This comes after the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy earlier this week signed agreements with 13 renewable energy providers.
The department added that it is still in talks with at least six other preferred bidders in the fifth bidding period of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Acquisition Program.
These projects are expected to add 975 MW of power to the grid over the next two years.
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