New 100MW Licensing Threshold To Unleash $3.8B Renewables Spend By South African Miners
South African mining companies are likely to embark on renewable energy projects worth $3.8 billion in the near future to take advantage of the South African government’s landmark decision in 2021 to increase the licensing threshold for embedded generation projects from 1 MW to 100 MW.
This outlay would encompass up to 3,900 MW of wind, solar, and battery energy projects. Plans for 585 MW of solar generation capacity are already under implementation.
Key South African solar projects under way include:
Sibanye-Stillwater’s platinum group metal (PGM) mining operations – an 80 MW solar PV project at its Rustenburg Platinum Mines Complex, a 65 MW solar PV project at its Karee Complex and a 30 MW solar PV project at its Bushveld Complex aggregating an estimated cost in the range of $164.5 million and $184 million.
Anglo American Platinum – a 100 MW solar PV plant at its Mogalakwena mine in the southern African country’s Limpopo province. Expected to become operational by the end of 2023, the plant will be built by the South African independent power producer Pele Green Energy–EDF Renewables South Africa consortium.
Gold Fields – a 40 MW solar PV plant at its South Deep gold mine near Westonaria, 50 km south-west of Johannesburg. Comprising 116,000 solar panels, it will cost an estimated R660 million.
Harmony Gold – three 10 MW solar energy plants that will generate 75 GWh of clean energy per year for the company’s operations in the country’s Free State province. Construction began in June 2022 and is likely to complete by 2024.
Impala Platinum – a 10 MW solar PV project at its Marula Platinum mine in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Presently under tendering, the project will cost about $11.95 million and is likely to be in operation by 2024.
Image of Anglo American’s solar PV field at Mogalakwena to support the operation of a hydrogen-fuelled haul truck: Anglo American (Flickr)