Emesco’s Schonau Solar Energy Now SAPP Conditional Member

The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) has admitted Emesco’s Schonau Solar Energy (SSE) as a Conditional Member, in the Market Participant category, one of the first in this new membership category and one of the first solar plants accepted as a SAPP member.

The membership was announced at the SAPP & Modified Single Buyer (MSB) Market Access Conference held in Windhoek on 28-29 August.

The Conditional Membership category supports electricity generators and exporters in meeting bankability requirements from financiers by confirming participation on the SAPP power markets once projects become commercially operational.

The SAPP, created under the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), operates four competitive electricity markets between 12 member countries and has facilitated trade between utilities in southern Africa since 1995. The operating member countries include Namibia, South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe, which are primarily represented by each country’s national utility.

The 125 MW Schonau Solar Energy PV project is being developed by Emesco in Karasburg, in the southern tip of the country. It is licensed under the Namibian MSB framework for generation of renewable energy and its export via the SAPP. The export of renewable energy into the SAPP grid over the 25 year life of the project will improve generation capacity and support carbon mitigation objectives across the SADC region.

Alison Chikova, Chief Engineer: Planning and Operations of SAPP, said: “The SAPP Conditional Membership for Market Participants was introduced in April 2023. Schonau Solar Energy is amongst four awarded conditional membership with effect from 28 August 2023 and valid for 5 years”.

Pieter Rossouw, Commercial Director of Emesco, thanked SAPP for entrusting Schonau Solar Energy with Conditional Membership and said they looked forward to participating on the SAPP Power Markets.

“Conditional Membership is a significant milestone which brings Emesco a step closer to realising its vision of playing a key role in Namibia becoming a net-exporter of energy,” he said.

“We are grateful to the Namibian Electricity Control Board for developing the MSB framework which has led us this point and encourage other SAPP member states to adopt similar means of market access which will encourage investment in sustainable energy solutions across the SADC region.” Rossouw said.

The Schonau Solar Energy plant will cost an estimated US$107 million (approximately N$2, 1 billion) to construct. Over the 25-year life of the plant, 7 898 064 MWh will be produced resulting in the mitigation of 7 796 179 tons of CO2.

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