Thursday, 22 September 2016

USTDA Promotes New Energy Production In Southern Africa

Source: "USTDA Promotes New Energy Production In Southern Africa At U.S.-Africa Business Forum", U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), 21st September 2016

Programs advance Power Africa goals by bringing clean and renewable energy to market

New York, NY – Today, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to SolarReserve South Africa Proprietary Limited to support the development of several mid-sized urban solar farms in South Africa. These solar farms will support large end-users of power, creating a new private investment model for clean energy development in South Africa. 

The grant will develop a blueprint for the execution of an initial 50 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic projects in urban areas in South Africa, which will be scalable to 200 MW. The individual solar projects, ranging in size from 5 MW to 30 MW, will be privately owned and operated and will provide new renewable power to commercial and industrial end-users. 

“This groundbreaking study has the potential to impact the way municipalities across South Africa accommodate privately-owned clean power generation within their distribution borders,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of SolarReserve, a leading global energy developer with 246 MW of solar capacity already online in South Africa. “It represents a unique approach to involving the private sector in expanding South Africa’s generation capacity, while stimulating job growth and small business development.

SolarReserve has selected U.S. firm Mott MacDonald, Inc. (Iselin, NJ), a global management, engineering and development consultancy working in over 140 countries, to conduct a feasibility study. The study will provide SolarReserve with various technical, economic, financial, legal, permitting and commercial inputs in order for SolarReserve to complete its strategic analysis and to progress financing and begin implementing the projects.

During the U.S.-Africa Business Forum, USTDA also announced two new initiatives to spur broad-based energy development in Africa. USTDA is expanding its cooperation with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to accelerate clean energy development and financing across sub-Saharan Africa. USTDA-funded advisory services will help IDC, South Africa’s largest development finance institution, identify clean energy projects for financing. This program expands on the Agency’s existing partnership with IDC, which is currently assessing energy storage solutions to stabilize and grow South Africa’s large renewable market.

USTDA also announced the launch of a project preparation advisory facility that will support South Africa’s plans to install more than 3 GW of gas-fired power from independent power producers. It will also support the participation of U.S. companies in gas-to-power projects, which can increase access to affordable, reliable electricity while reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses and other pollutants associated with electricity generation in South Africa.

“USTDA is proud to support public-private partnerships that advance the goals of Power Africa, a U.S. government-led initiative to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa,” said USTDA Director Leocadia I. Zak. “Working together with innovative American companies and strong partners in South Africa, we are increasing the use of cleaner energy sources that will spur broader gains across the economy.”

About USTDA

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project planning activities, pilot projects, and reverse trade missions while creating sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries (www.ustda.gov)

About Power Africa

Power Africa is a U.S. government-led initiative launched by President Obama in 2013. Power Africa’s goals are to increase electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa by adding more than 30,000 megawatts of cleaner, more efficient electricity generation capacity and 60 million new home and business connections. Power Africa works with African governments and private sector partners to remove barriers that impede sustainable energy development in sub-Saharan Africa and to unlock the substantial wind, solar, hydropower, natural gas, biomass, and geothermal resources on the continent. For additional information, please visit the Power Africa website (www.usaid.gov/powerafrica).

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