Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 Jan 2012

POWER SUPPLY: Green Light For Solar Capital


Recent Western Cape Business News

Solar Capital, a leading renewable energy company based in Cape Town and chaired by Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, has been selected by The Department of Energy as a preferred bidder in an R18 billion deal to supply the South African energy grid with electricity generated by its photovoltaic solar farms. This 75-megawatt installation is the first phase of the world’s largest solar farm that is expected to total 300 megawatts.

The Solar Farm, located at De Aar, is part of the larger footprint of 25 solar farms that Solar Capital is developing in the Northern Cape, where solar irradiation and thus electricity generation is double the European levels. Solar Capital plan to invest over R2 billion, and will be bidding for additional licenses for its 50,000 hectares of land, in the Northern and Western Cape provinces. The solar farms are located in areas of excessive sunshine that makes this land arid and non-productive for agricultural purposes.

Solar Capital was founded in 2008 by Paschal Phelan who immigrated to South Africa ten years ago from his native Ireland. Phelan’s international investment and development business Phelan Holdings is best known for his flagship multi-award-winning five-star luxury hotel the Cape Royale, located in the heart of Cape Town.

Dr. Ramphele, who specializes in problems concerning social development, commented: “The Department of Energy Renewable Energy program is truly inspiring in that it makes a comprehensive social and economic upliftment program a prerequisite for participation in this bidding process, that also sets strict thresholds for local content manufacture. We are bringing rejuvenation to the Northern Cape, and converting what is seen as excessive sunshine into jobs and revenue that will transform the lives of thousands of disadvantaged rural dwellers. I am particularly happy that this investment will have a 10% local community equity participation.”

Paschal Phelan, Solar Capital CEO commented: “Our solar PV panels are proven technology over 25 years. We will install in volumes of up to 500,000 panels in a single location. They will convert solar rays directly into electricity that will then be fed into the national grid. The panels have no moving parts, no emissions, are 100% environmentally friendly and are fast to install.”

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