The Letsatsi project is a solar photovoltaic power generation plant that produces clean electrical energy using thousands of polycrystalline modules, vital for the economic growth and development of the region and greater South Africa.
The Project achieved Commercial Operation Date (COD) on 21 May 2014, at which point the plant was certified fully operational. This project now feeds the Eskom South African electricity grid with about 140 GWh/annum of clean renewable energy, enough to power approximately 65,000 South African homes.
The project is playing its part in helping South Africa meet its renewable energy targets, with the added benefit of stimulating long-term economic development and job creation. The construction phase provided economic and skills training benefits to the people from the nearby communities. The long term benefits are facilitated through the Letsatsi Solar Park Trust over the 20-year project life, with the key focus being sustainable socioeconomic development and economic upliftment of local SMMEs.
The construction phase of the project generated approximately 1.1 million man-hours, a large percentage of which comprised local labour, with youth dominating the workforce. The construction of a PV power plant promoted the development of new skills amongst hundreds of local residents. These include civil construction, steel structure assembly, and electrical installation amongst others. These skillsets have since become marketable in other projects in the region and within the REIPPP power sector.
- Location: near Bloemfontein, South Africa
- Technology: Photovoltaic (PV)
- Net generation – 64 MWAC
- Energy Production: circa 140 GWh/annum
- Power Purchase Agreement: 20-year government supported PPA with Eskom
- Power evacuated to 132kV Distribution grid network
KEY PROJECT BENEFITS
- Clean, zero-emission solar energy in South Africa
- Helping South Africa meet its renewable energy targets
- Direct and indirect employment
- Local Content: more than 45% of the total project value is local content spend
- Preferential Procurement: 60% of the local content is with BBBEE providers
- Long term Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development investments