The R1 billion investment by the Chariot Transitional Power in Rustenburg, North West, is set to generate up to 40 MW of photovoltaic power to supply electricity to the Tharisa Minerals platinum group metals and chrome mine.
The Department of Trade Industry and Competition said at the weekend that The Buffelspoort Solar Energy project was initiated within the context of the current energy challenges and load shedding, with Tharisa embarking on a journey to improve the stability of its electricity supply by diversifying away from the state utility.
“The investment pledge was made at the fifth South African Investment Conference that was hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Johannesburg in April,” it said.
Benoit Garrivier, the CEO of Chariot, said the construction of the solar energy facility was set to start in the second quarter of 2024.
“As an Africa-focused developer and an independent power producer, Chariot’s core mandate is to develop, finance and operate renewable projects in Africa to sell renewable energy to private off-takers. South Africa is an important market for the company because of its size in Sub-Saharan Africa, the abundance of renewable solar resources, the existence of various strong corporate off-takers and a supportive government. Various government initiatives over the last few years have made the South African market ideal,” said Garrivier.
He said during the construction period the Buffelspoort Project would create jobs for about 200 people, mainly drawn from the local communities.