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By Citizen Reporter


SA gold mine claims its solar plant has Eskom’s approval to connect to the grid

Pan African Resources said its solar plant at its Evander mine is the first to be granted full grid code compliance.

A South African gold mine in Mpumalanga, Pan African Resources, says it is the first embedded project higher than 1MW to receive full grid code compliance from Eskom.

The company built the 10MW Elikhulu solar photovoltaic (PV) plant at its Evander mine in Mpumalanga. JUWI Renewable Energies developed the solar plant.

Elikhulu solar plant

The connection to the grid comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2021 approved the raising of the licensing threshold for renewable energy projects from 1MW to 100MW.

Richard Doyle, Managing Director at JUWI, said the solar plant will reduce pressure on the national electricity grid and hopefully lessen the plight of load shedding.

“We’re delighted that Elikhulu is the first behind-the-client metre large-scale project to get the stamp of approval from Eskom, which confirms that the project adhered to very rigorous grid connection standards,” said Doyle.

Barry Naicker, head of environmental, social, and governance at Pan African Resources, said the solar plant connecting to the grid is a “turning point in South Africa’s transition to clean energy”.

“For Pan African Resources, mining is also about sustainability and going ‘beyond compliance’, which means that we are committed to rolling out renewable energy solutions at all our operations in South Africa,” said Naicker.

“We’re grateful that the Elikhulu PV plant is online and operating efficiently, and pleased that it is the first project of its kind to be connected to the South African grid,” he added.

ALSO READ: SA’s just energy transition: Why investing in gas is a bad idea

Agreements signed with renewable energy providers

This comes after the department of mineral resources and energy earlier this week signed agreements with 13 renewable energy providers.

The department added that it is still in discussions with at least six more preferred bidders under bid window five of government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme.

These projects are expected to add 975MW of energy to the grid over the next two years.

NOW READ: Govt signs agreements with 13 renewable energy providers

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