SOLA Group To Build $132 Million Solar Plant In South Africa

Patrice Motsepe, founder and chairman of African Rainbow Minerals Ltd., listens during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 30, 2019. The conference brings together leaders in business, government, technology, philanthropy, academia, and the media to discuss actionable and collaborative solutions to some of the most important questions of our time. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SOLA Group, a South African independent power producer (IPP) affiliated with Africa’s pioneering Black millionaire, Patrice Motsepe, plans to construct an R2.5 billion ($132 million) solar project in South Africa’s North West Province. This enormous project represents a big advancement in Africa’s renewable energy environment.

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Motsepe, who was the first Black African billionaire on Forbes’ list in 2008, owns an indirect 40% share in SOLA Group through African Rainbow Energy. This demonstrates his dedication to creating sustainable energy alternatives.

The company has successfully secured agreements with prominent banks to finance the construction of the substantial 132MWp solar project, which stands as SOLA Group’s third-largest renewable energy endeavor in the last six months, totaling 390MW under construction, equivalent to a staggering 588,000 solar panels sprawled across 750 hectares.

This solar project, co-owned by SOLA Group and African Rainbow Energy and supported by financial institutions such as Absa, Standard Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, and Nedbank, will be critical in providing energy to platinum mining operations managed by Patrice Motsepe’s African Rainbow Minerals (ARM).

The project will be carried out through a long-term power purchase agreement, with power being efficiently channeled to various mining locations via the national grid.

This latest endeavor, together with two other projects now under construction in the North West Province, has poured R6.4 billion ($337.5 million) into the region. This significant infusion of finance underpins African Rainbow Energy’s commitment to renewable energy, which now includes investments in one gigatonne of renewable energy projects.

Motsepe is also expanding his position in the renewable energy sector through strategic investments made by his investment holding business.Motsepe, his business African Rainbow Capital (ARC), and GoSolr have just acquired a minority investment in GoSolr, a Johannesburg-based household solar energy startup.

The transaction, which was completed for an undisclosed value, is consistent with ARC’s unwavering commitment to supporting sustainable energy solutions across the African continent.

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