OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has signed an agreement with SolarReserve and ACWA Power, the developers of South Africa’s Redstone Concentrated Solar Plant (CSP) project, to provide $400 million in debt financing to support the development of the planned 100MW clean energy facility in the Northern Cape.
Once completed, the clean energy facility will be connected to South Africa’s national grid, helping to alleviate the frequent power outages cited as a handicap to the country’s economic growth. Using SolarReserve’s cutting-edge CSP technology, Redstone’s molten salt storage capability will deliver consistent baseload electricity, even after the sun sets.
The success of the project will be a significant milestone the Power Africa initiative, President Obama’s program to provide access to electricity to the more than 600 million people in Africa who are currently living without power.
“It’s impressive that Redstone brings together the innovative U.S. private sector leadership and technology of SolarReserve, the international experience of ACWA Power, and large-scale catalytic financing from OPIC “ said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “This sort of change-making partnership is at the heart of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative and creates broad, lasting impact in international development.”
The project helps fulfill both the U.S commitment to clean energy in the developing world as well as South Africa’s own goals through the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP) which aims to add 3,725MW of clean power to the country’s energy generation mix.