South African pension fund invests $1.8 billion in 2 CSP projects

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South Africa’s largest pension fund has announced investments worth $1.8 billion in two concentrated solar power projects.

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CSP uses reflective material to concentrate the sun’s rays to power steam turbines or engines. Source:

South Africa’s largest pension fund has announced investments worth $1.8 billion in two concentrated solar power projects allocated to developers under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme auction.

Public Investment Corporation (PIC) has announced that it will take a 20% stake each in two CSP projects with an investment of $1.8 billion. Both of these projects are expected to be commissioned by 2017 and will use parabolic trough reflectors, with an installed capacity of 100 MW each.

One of the projects, Ilanga I, is being developed by South Africa-based Emvelo and will have energy storage capacity for 4.5 hours. Apart from the sizeable equity investment in the project PIC will also provide $54 million in debt finance.

The second project is owned and being developed by Abengoa. The Xina Solar One has already secured $660 million in debt financing through PIC, as well as several other international and South African banks. The project will have 5 hours of storage capacity. Abengoa owns 2 other CSP projects in South Africa. A few weeks back the company commissioned 100 MW KaXu CSP project, the largest so far in the country.

Both the projects have signed long-term power purchase agreements with the country’s largest power utility, Eskom. Various developers have been allotted 7 CSP projects representing a total capacity of 550 MW. Abengoa secured 3 of those projects with cumulative capacity of 250 MW.

The announcement by PIC comes just days after the Government Pension Fund Global in Norway revealed that divested its holdings in more than 50 coal companies worldwide. The fund sold off its holdings in 16 US companies, including Peabody Energy, and 13 Indian companies, including the world’s largest coal miner Coal India Limited.


Source: CleanTechnica. Reproduced with permission.

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