The US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic) has extended a loan of up to US$250mn for a solar power project in South Africa, its first contribution to this type of energy development in the country.
The financing will allow US companies MEMC Electronic Materials and its subsidiary SunEdison, to construct and operate a solar photovoltaic plant in Boshof, in the country's Free State province. Electricity generated by the 60MW plant will be sold to the national grid through a power-purchase agreement.
The project is part of the South African government's Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPP), which aims to increase investment in renewable energy production and reduce the country's decency to coal-fired plants - currently 84% of South Africa's electrical generation capacity.
Opic president Elizabeth Littlefield says: “South Africa’s ambitious and impressive renewable energy program has established the country as a leader in the field. We’re pleased to work with an experienced developer such as SunEdison to deliver so many developmental benefits for South Africa."