Teraco gets grid allocation for 120MW solar plant

Teraco has announced that it has secured its first grid capacity allocation from Eskom, allowing it to break ground on a 120MW utility-scale solar power plant in the Free State.

The grid allocation will allow Teraco to connect its 120MW solar facility to the national grid and wheel the power generated across Eskom and municipal networks to its facilities across the country.

Once constructed and fully operational, the 120MW solar plant will produce an estimated 338,000MWh of electricity annually.

“This allocation is a significant step towards meeting our renewable energy ambitions and those of our clients. It is also only the first phase of our longer-term renewable energy commitment,” says Jan Hnizdo, CEO at Teraco.

“In South Africa, we have various energy challenges, and this presents an incredible opportunity to meet our near-term renewable energy goals while adding additional power capacity to a generation-constrained grid.”

Hnizdo added that South Africa’s solar resources are a source of competitive advantage for data centres in the country.

Teraco has partnered with JUWI Renewable Energies South Africa and Subsolar to develop the solar plant. JUWI is appointed to design and manage the plant’s procurement, construction, and commissioning.

“This PV project represents a massive component of our plan to achieve our 100% clean energy goal,” says Bryce Allan, Head of Sustainability at Teraco.

“In addition to this project, over the past two years, Teraco has deployed approximately 6MW of roof-top solar integrated into its facilities, and this amount is to be increased to 10MW as new facilities become operational.”

In late January 2024, Teraco chief financial officer Samuel Erwin revealed that the company had secured R11.2 billion ($680 million) in funding to assist with its expansion plans and power build-out.

According to Erwin, just less than half of the loan financing, led by Absa Group, is earmarked to build out the company’s solar capacity and data centres.

The rest will be used to refinance its current facilities located in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.

“We have set a target to generate half of our power from clean energy sources by 2027, and all of it by 2035,” Erwin added.

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Teraco gets grid allocation for 120MW solar plant