By Naseerah Nanabhai
South Africa’s latest photovoltaic solar power plant has just been commissioned. Bokamoso Solar located in the North West Province achieved full compliance and commenced commercial operations, on the 12th of September 2020.
The 68 MWp photovoltaic solar power plant consists of 236,580 panels installed on a 150-hectare site. The solar park can produce 177,660 MWh of electricity per year- enough to satisfy the needs of around 30,000 average South African households. All electricity generated from the park is fed into the grid of the state-owned company Eskom.
The Bokamoso solar plant, not only put the North West province on the map as a player in the renewable energy sector but also is a corollary of the government’s move towards clean energy programmes. The Excelsior wind farm in the Western Cape Province is another step towards renewable energy and many other projects remain in the pipeline.
However, Bokamoso Solar noted in a press statement that this power plant and several others currently under construction, aim not to only deliver additional power to the country’s national grid, but also to benefit rural communities through impactful economic development programmes.
Socio-economic development projects that Bokamoso aims to focus on include, education, youth development, health, food security and welfare. Additionally, a percentage of the revenue generated each year will be committed to implementing enterprise development initiatives, building resilience, and accelerating the success of entrepreneurial businesses.
Bokamoso Solar is owned by IDEAS Fund and managed by Old Mutual (SA), Reatile Solar Power, Phakwe Solar, Business Venture Investments 1984 and Cicada Community Trust.