The construction of Greefspan II will start in September next year, and the plant will reach a production capacity of 62.24 MWp. It is the third major project by GRS in this country, and is expected to be completed by November 2020.
October 26, 2018. GRS has begun construction planning for the photovoltaic plant Greefspan II. The EPC contract was signed with AIIM acting as project sponsor on behalf of investors including the IDEAS Fund and Black Industrialist partners. It will have a capacity of 55 MWac and 62.24 MWp, and will be located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.
Dylan Tudor-Jones, Country Manager of GRS in South Africa, personally signed the contract last May and is leading the team that is working on the project. This is the third major project by GRS in South Africa, after the completion of the Lesedi and Letsatsi photovoltaic power plants in 2015 (both 75 MWac).
When asked about the project, Tudor-Jones explained that “after an anxious delay in the REIPPP Programme, we are very grateful and excited to have concluded this EPC agreement with AIIM, and look forward to working with our consortium partners in order to deliver another quality PV project in South Africa.”
GRS will have 30% shareholding in the EPC consortium, and will work with Spanish partners TSK and a 100% black-owned South African Company, Umbono Energy. The start of commercial operations is scheduled for November 2020.
Creating new jobs in South Africa
Greefspan II will create over 4,900 job months for South African citizens, of which over 4,000 will be black and over 3,000 will be locally sourced. Further localization will take place in terms of the procurement and will include major components such as trackers, inverters and the balance of plant. Post construction, the Operations & Maintenance Consortium will permanently employ both skilled and unskilled personnel in order to ensure the optimum performance of the plant and maximize on delivered energy to the grid.
“We are very excited to continue working in South Africa after some years with very little opportunities in the energy sector. This will allow us to continue business in a region that is strategic for us”, claims Antonio Suárez Ramón, Contract Management Director of TSK. “We would like to note that the project will also help to industrialize the Northern Cape, offering jobs and transferring skills to the local communities. From TSK, we are excited by this new opportunity”.
Kerwin Rana, Managing Director of Umbono Energy said: “South Africa is desperate for real economic growth and job creation, and Umbono is proud to be a significant part of a project with such quality partners that will have a huge economic impact in the Northern Cape. We look forward to the commencement of construction and operations.”
The plant will produce clean and sustainable energy for more than 20,000 homes, and will prevent more than 130,000 tonnes of yearly carbon dioxide emission going into the atmosphere, when compared to the traditional coal fired South African power stations.
GRS has 13 years of experience in the solar photovoltaic industry. The company is specialized in the construction and maintenance of photovoltaic plants worldwide through EPC contracts, and operates in all sectors of the renewable energy project value chain (except technological components).
Dylan Tudor-Jones from GRS elaborated further by adding that “the resurrection of the REIPPP Programme, as well as the recently released draft IRP, has been well received by GRS, as it maps out a South African future energy mix which includes PV in both the utility and distributed generation sectors. This will stimulate further business opportunities for the manufacturing of trackers, engineering & quality control services, as well as energy storage”.
GRS has been a part of many landmark projects throughout the world, including some of the largest in Mexico, Australia, Brazil and the Middle East.