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Cape Town company takes huge leap in independent energy production

Red Rocket’s Roggeveld Wind Farm bordering the Western and Northern Cape. Picture: Supplied.

Red Rocket’s Roggeveld Wind Farm bordering the Western and Northern Cape. Picture: Supplied.

Published Sep 26, 2023


A Cape Town based independent Power producing company, Red Rocket, has taken a huge leap forward in Africa's clean energy sector after it secured a US $160 million (over R3 billion) investment from international private capital.

The partnership between Red Rocket and investors from Inspired Evolution, Bill Kilgore Investments, Dutch entrepreneurial development bank FMO and STOA energy, the company is hopeful it can help bring an end to South Africa’s energy crisis.

Prior to this, Red Rocket has lead the 75 megawatt Kathu Photovoltaic (PV) project in the Northern Cape, which produces around 180 Gigawatt Hours of clean energy per year.

This energy is captured by the 306,553 photo-voltaic panels installed at the facility.

Representatives from private companies all said they were excited to get on board Red Rocket’s clean energy ship.

Matteo Brambilla, CEO of Red Rocket, called the deal was a “pivotal moment” for the energy industry.

“This transformative alliance signifies a pivotal moment in the energy industry. It not only reaffirms Red Rocket’s dedication to advancing clean energy solutions but also positions the company as an influential force on the African continent, poised for sustainable, prosperous, and impactful future endeavours,” Brambilla said.

Managing partner at Inspired Evolution, Christopher Clarke, said they were confident in Red Rocket’s capabilities and also noted its track record in the clean energy sector and energy sector as a whole.

Michael Jongeneel, CEO of the Dutch bank said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Red Rocket and support the development of clean energy projects across the African continent. Red Rocket's mission to harness the power of nature's technologies - sun, water, wind, and earth - aligns with our vision to create a greener, more inclusive, and resilient world.”

STOA CEO Marie-Laure Mazaud said his company was convinced clean energy would be highly beneficial to South Africa, given the history of load shedding.

“My recent visit to the Red Rocket mothership has reinforced my confidence in this dynamic and enthusiastic team. We are delighted to develop this new partnership in South Africa, where STOA already supports a fiber network project, and are excited to be part of this entrepreneurial journey, which echoes STOA’s ambition to help build the African economies of tomorrow in the interest of next generations,” Mazaud said.

Clean energy would not go to waste in South Africa, in fact, the country is in sore need of any solution to the plague that is load shedding, which has taken the South African economy to all new lows, together with the help of the government.

Load shedding has become a norm in South Africa with no end in site, despite taxpayers forking out over R3 million a year for the country’s new Minister in the Presidency responsible for electricity, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa.

This week, IOL reported that President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed 10 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy projects were in the “pipeline”.

"We are committed to building resilience to the impact of climate change and reducing our emissions in ways that are appropriate to our national circumstances and development pathways," said Ramaphosa.