In a significant step towards a sustainable and resilient future, Scatec ASA, a leader in renewable energy solutions, has officially started producing and supplying electricity to the national grid from the three Kenhardt plants in the Northern Cape Province, in South Africa.
The Kenhardt project is positioned to make a notable impact on the renewable energy landscape as one of the world’s first and largest hybrid solar and battery storage facilities. With an installed solar capacity of 540 MW and a battery storage capacity of 225MW/1,140MWh, this innovative and large-scale project delivers 150 MW of dispatchable power from 5 am to 9.30 pm year-round to the national grid under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom.
With a total investment of approximately USD 1 billion, the Kenhardt project marks the largest commitment in Scatec’s history and will generate solid returns to Scatec’s shareholders. The project debt is provided by a group of lenders which includes The Standard Bank Group as lead arranger and British International Investment (BII).
“Today, we embark on an exciting journey into a new era of energy solutions. The Kenhardt project symbolises not only a technological triumph but a commitment to shaping a sustainable future,” says Terje Pilskog, CEO of Scatec. “This is more than just a power plant; it’s a testament to the limitless potential of integrating solar and battery storage to meet the evolving energy needs of today and tomorrow. I would like to congratulate the team of Scatec ‘changemakers’ who have delivered this innovative project on schedule, within budget and with good HSSE performance and thank all partners and stakeholders who have been integral to this success.”
A hybrid solar and battery storage plant integrates solar and battery technologies, overcoming intermittency challenges and bolstering grid stability. With the ability to deliver reliable power in low or no sunlight, the integrated storage enhances overall reliability. Dispatchable power production and releasing stored energy during peak demand make these plants ideal for meeting region-wide energy needs during high consumption periods.
Jan Fourie, EVP of Sub-Saharan Africa, emphasises the significance of this endeavour, stating, “This isn’t just about powering homes; it’s about empowering communities. The Kenhardt project showcases the resilience and reliability of renewable energy, proving it to be a steadfast source of electricity capacity for the grid. Dispatchable renewables are the future.”
“The progression from the development phase through construction, and now reaching the stage of commercial operation, has been a rewarding experience. We are ready to generate electricity and play a vital role in advancing South Africa’s green energy production with this innovative hybrid energy solution,” adds Fourie.
Scatec holds 51% of the equity and H1 Holdings, our local Black Economic Empowerment partner, owns the remaining 49%. This collaboration is not just about generating power; it’s about empowering and fostering sustainable growth.