North West Premier Thandi Modise is upbeat about launch of the first solar energy farm and the first renewable energy project that will supply power to the Eskom grid and produce 250 000 Megawatts of energy over the next 20 years. The project is to be launched by Minister of Energy, Dipuo Peters at Buffelspoort, about 22 kilometers outside Rustenburg today.
Development of the RustMo1 Solar Farm 7 Mega Watts solar photovoltaic (PV) power generation facility was awarded to Momentous Energy, a South African black-owned development company. The Project includes the installation of 11 inverters and 29 808 photovoltaic solar modules, with a step up transformer to connect to the 88kV substation is to be launched at 10:00am.
“This groundbreaking launch attests to progress registered towards removing barriers towards the uptake of renewable energy technologies through the creation of strategic, financial, technical and other enabling environments. We appreciate that the Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (IPPPP) launched by Minister Peters’ department in 2011 to stimulate the renewable energy industry across the country also holds substantial potential for the province,” says Premier Thandi Modise
On the eve of the launch, an excited Premier Modise said that solar energy is a solution that will not only provide an answer to alternate energy sources but it is an innovation that provides sustainable social and economic value because energy is a key driver to generate growth, development and employment..
Although fifteen projects are being developed for the province under the IPPPP programme, the Rust Mo1 solar PV plant is the first to be approved.
Other solar PV projects ranging from 5–340 MW earmarked for Brits, Christiana, Taung, Rustenburg, Vryburg, Mahikeng, Tswaing and Orkney are at various stages of the bidding and planning process for implementation.