Juwi wins South African solar contracts worth 250MW
German renewable energy company, juwi Renewable Energies, has won three contracts with a combined value of $200mn (ZAR3bn) for solar energy in South Africa.
The contracts include EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) and O&M (operation and maintenance), and have been concluded with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) which is Africa’s biggest infrastructure private equity fund manager and part of Old Mutual Alternative Investments.
The three solar projects are the 86MW Waterloo Solar Park and the 78MW Bokamoso Solar Park, both located in North West Province, along with the 86MW Droogfontein 2 Solar Park, located in Northern Cape. Altogether, the parks are set to deliver 250MW of solar PV energy to the South African power grid.
AIIM’s IDEAS Managed Fund is to be the majority shareholder with a 50.01% stake in the projects. The fund is South Africa’s biggest for domestic infrastructure equity, with $890,000 (ZAR13.2mn) assets under management.
The projects were signed by juwi as part of the REIPPPP Programme, and debt funding was provided by ABSA and Nedbank.
Juwi’s Managing Director, Greg Austin, said: “We are delighted to have closed the EPC and O&M contracts and the associated agreements with AIIM, together with their equity and debt partners. For juwi, this represents a major milestone as the addition of this 250MW triples our existing portfolio of solar PV projects constructed and operated in South Africa.”
Juwi has also outlined some key economic benefits of the new solar facility investments, such as 100% South African ownership, 50% direct black ownership with an additional 15% indirect black ownership, and 40% black participation in EPC contracts.
Austin commented: “The RE sector brings real socio-economic benefits to South Africa, offering significant job creation, and infrastructural development to facilitate economic growth and attract investment to the region.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.