InnoSun’s Sorexa to Power Orano Desalination Plant

The Erongo Desalination Plant outside Swakopmund

Orano Mining Namibia has contracted InnoSun Energy Holding (Pty) Ltd to provide additional solar power for the Erongo Desalination Plant (EDP) under a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

The agreement will see InnoSun establish a 4.5MW solar plant at the Trekkopje site just north-east of Arandis, from where power will be supplied to the EDP, situated some 35km north of Swakopmund.

The initiative is expected to enable Orano to make the provision of water to the Erongo region from a green electricity source more affordable in the long-term, and contribute greatly to efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the EDP.

InnoSun Energy Holdings Executive Director Usuta Imbili told Etango that the solar park to be built under the name of Sorexa Sun Energy (Pty) Ltd, an entity owned 100% by InnoSun Energy Holding, will supply the Orano desalination plant with the 30% contestable quantity of power as per the Modified Single Buyer (MSB) market rules.

“The power plant will have an installed capacity of 4.5MWac, with a single-axis tracking system, and will be connected to the NamPower Trekkopje substation. Construction is scheduled to start around the fourth quarter of 2022. The Sorexa Sun Energy 4.5MW (1st phase) solar PV plant will be located adjacent to the Trekkopje Uranium mine, approximately 25km north east of Arandis,” Imbili said.

She said all the power to be generated by the Sorexa Sun Energyplantwill be for the exclusive use of the desalination plant. But, Imbili said the solar power plant could be extended in the future to supply other customers in Namibia and on the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

Sorexa Sun Energy plant will also be the first large scale PV plant in Namibia to supply energy to a desalination plant. It is part of the Orano group policy to lower its carbon footprint and increase the share of low-carbon electricity at its operating sites worldwide. It will represent a reduction of circa 10 000 tons of CO2 equivalent, amounting to 30% of the desalination plant’s current annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Orano said it was proud of its current contribution to the development of the Erongo region through the desalination plant, and of the contribution of the uranium mining sector to the production of decarbonated electricity.

Meanwhile, Imbili also gave an update on InnoSun’s 8MW #Oab wind farm project at Elizabeth Bay Mine.

“The #Oab project at E-Bay mine is going ahead, we have obtained all the permits to build this wind farm, including a Generation License from the regulator, the ECB, an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC), an Export License for the SAPP market, and currently busy negotiating an off-take agreement with Sperrgebiet Diamond Mine, the owner of the E-Bay Mine,” she said.

With regards to the company’s role in the development of Namibia’s Green Hydrogen economy, Imbili said InnoSun has a role to play as it aims to be one of the suppliers of green energy for the processing of green hydrogen.

“We have several wind projects at advanced stages in the area and this gives us advantage for this (green hydrogen) sector,” she said. Namibia has committed itself to increasing the share of renewable energy in electricity production to 70% by 2030. 

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