Private healthcare services group Mediclinic has entered into a £110m (R2.2 billion) deal with Energy Exchange of Southern Africa to procure renewable electricity for its operations.
The deal forms part of the company’s broad environmental, social, and governance strategy, aiming to make Mediclinic carbon neutral by 2030.
“Procuring renewable energy, specifically electricity, forms part of this Group strategy,” Mediclinic said.
Mediclinic said Energy Exchange will provide it with access to renewable energy from independent power producers at favourable electricity tariffs.
“Energy Exchange is currently the only platform able to connect businesses with electricity generated by IPPs and which will have the necessary agreements in place with the state utility provider [Eskom] and local municipalities to make use of their networks for the distribution of renewable electricity,” Mediclinic said.
Mediclinic Group CEO Ronnie van der Merwe said the company was committed to improving sustainability by managing its resources responsibly and efficiently.
“All divisions are taking steps to reduce their electricity consumption intensity through the adoption of the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system,” Van Der Merwe said.
“This will lead to improved operational efficiency of technical installations; the introduction of various new energy-efficient and renewable technologies; and changes in employee behaviour regarding energy use.”
Mediclinic added the agreement would likely provide an economic benefit as annual electricity tariff increases were expected to be inflation-linked.
“While Mediclinic strongly believes that the use of renewable energy is important in ensuring a healthy planet for future generations, reducing consumption by investing in energy-efficient equipment and renewable energy sources also assists in mitigating rising electricity costs,” the company said.
Mediclinic previously signed a 12-year power purchase contract with Moshesh Partners to install photovoltaic (PV) solar power generation systems at six of its hospitals.
These will be used to generate and feed electricity directly to the hospitals and help save costs and relieve pressure on Eskom’s grid.
The deal came in the wake of the announcement from President Cyril Ramaphosa that government would lift the private generation licencing threshold from 1MW to 100MW.
This allows private individuals and businesses to develop and install private power generation with up to a 100MW output without acquiring a licence from the National Energy Regulator of South Africa.