USA’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has signed an agreement with U.S. based energy developer SolarReserve and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, recognizing OPIC’s $400 million commitment of debt financing to support the development of the Redstone Concentrating Solar Power (CSP) project in Northern Cape, South Africa as Part of Secretary John Kerry’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum.
The Redstone project is a 100 megawatt (MW) clean energy facility that will be connected to the South African national grid. Using SolarReserve’s cutting-edge CSP technology, Redstone’s molten salt storage capability will deliver consistent baseload electricity, even after the sun sets. This is a critical development in a country where frequent power outages have been cited as an obstacle to economic growth.
“The development of the Redstone project will benefit the South African people, the international clean energy sector, and the role of U.S. leadership in emerging market development,” that is according to Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO.
SolarReserve’s CEO Kevin Smith said, “The Redstone project marks an important technology advancement for Africa in clean, renewable power, and a demonstration of U.S. developed technology that is leading the world in large scale solar energy storage,”
“In addition, the project’s delivered electricity price is the lowest of any CSP project in the country to date,” Smith added.
“The Redstone CSP Project, ACWA Power’s 2nd project in South Africa, delivers dispatchable power at the most competitive tariff offered in its Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) to date for CSP technology, while maximizing value retention in not only the South African economy, but also within the local economy in the project vicinity,” said Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power
OPIC support to the Redstone project is also a significant milestone for United States President Barack Obama’s Power Africa initiative, of which OPIC is a key contributor.
Power Africa aims to bring new power access to the more than 600 million sub-Saharan Africans currently living without energy access.