African solar rush continues.

Author:Dalby, Alexa
Position:Power plant construction funds

Abengoa, a Spanish renewable energy company, has raised project finance worth $660m for a solar power plant in Northern Cape Province, South Africa, stretching a spree of successful financing for solar infrastructure in Africa. The African Development Bank, Development Bank of South Africa and Nedbank all contributed to the funding round for the 100MW project, which will sell power to the local utility, Eskom, under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Separately, the South African Public Investment Corporation, the country's largest pension fund, announced that it would invest R22bn ($1.8bn) into two solar power stations in Northern Cape. Currently, around 95% of South Africa's electricity is generated by coal-fired power stations, and the country wants to diversify its energy supplies, as well as bring power onto a grid that is perennially in deficit.

International development financiers and private sector developers have long trumpeted the opportunities in solar power in Africa, both to service a pressing need for electricity infrastructure on the continent and for export to developed markets. Southern and Northern Africa in particular have...

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