The Jasper solar farm, located near Kimberley in South Africa, is now the continent’s largest solar power project. Construction was completed in October, and it is now fully operational (you can read that in the Star Wars emperor’s voice). With a rated capacity of 96 megawatts, Jasper will produce about 180,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually for South African residents, enough to power up to 80,000 homes.
What makes this even better is that Japser won’t stay the biggest solar project for long. In the same area, in South-Africa, near the 75-megawatt Lesedi project that came online last May, a 100-megawatt concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) project called Redstone is also under construction.
The Jasper Project generated about 1 million man-hours of paid work during construction, peaking at over 800 on-site construction jobs.
South Africa has a goal of having 18 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2030, so projects like this are definitely steps in the right direction. If there’s one thing that South Africa has lots of, it’s sunlight!
45% of the total project value was spent on “local content” to help increase the positive economic impact on the area.
The project was developed by a consortium consisting of SolarReserve, the Kensani Group (an experienced empowerment investment player in South Africa), and Intikon Energy (a South African developer of renewable energy projects).
Financing came from local and international sources, including Google and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), Intikon Energy, Kensani Capital Investments,, the PEACE Humansrus Community Trust, and SolarReserve with Rand Merchant Bank.