South Africa’s solar power plants — with over 4,400MW capacity

South Africa has 63 independently owned solar power stations that are operational, under construction, or still awaiting financial close, totalling more than 4,400MW.

This is according to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy’s (DMRE’s) IPP Projects database, which lists South Africa’s forthcoming and operational renewable power projects.

Of the total 4,412MW solar generating capacity listed on the database, only 2,797MW — 64% — is operational.

While it may not appear that there are many projects still awaiting financial close, these projects are some of the biggest planned for the country and will contribute a large amount of energy once operational.

These include the Good Hope Solar Park, Ngonyama Solar PV project, Boitumelo Solar Power Plant, and Kutlwano Solar Power Plant.

These solar power projects are expected to generate between 150MW and 240MW of capacity each.

The Virginia Solar Park and Doornhoek PV facility are also among these, with design capacities of 240MW and 120MW, respectively. However, the IPP Projects database appears to be behind on their status, saying they have yet to reach a financial close.

On 2 May 2024, the DMRE announced that the Virginia Solar Park and Doornhoek PV facility had reached financial close.

“The two solar PV projects will together contribute an additional 360MW to the national grid once construction is completed,” it said.

It added that construction at the sites is expected to be completed within two years, with the new generation capacity expected to come online in May 2026.

“These projects, developed by international investors in partnership with local players, will attract a total investment of R4.9 billion,” the DMRE said.

Currently, the biggest operational individual IPP-owned solar power plants include !NiXa Solar One, Karoshoek Solar One, Kathu Solar Park, Kaxu Solar One, and Redstone Solar Thermal Power Plant. Each of these plants has a design capacity of 100MW.

However, Solar Capital’s’ De Aar compound remains the biggest solar power plant in the country, with a total capacity of 175.26MW split across two sites.

It comprises the De Aar and De Aar 3 facilities, producing 85.26MW and 90MW, respectively.

Combined, the 175MW of generation capacity is sufficient to provide approximately 75,000 homes with electricity per year.

The plants comprise more than 500,000 photovoltaic modules across 473 hectares.

The table below summarises the capacity, location, and status of all independent power producer-owned solar power plants that are operational or in the works in South Africa.

Status, capacity, and location of IPP solar power plants in South Africa
Project Capacity Province Bid window Status
Good Hope Solar Park 240MW Free State 6 No financial close yet
Ngonyama Solar PV 240MW Free State 6 No financial close yet
Virginia Solar Park 240MW Free State 6 Reached financial close
Boitumelo Solar Power Plant 150MW North West 6 No financial close yet
Kutlwano Solar Power Plant 150MW North West 6 No financial close yet
Doornhoek PV 120MW North West 4 No financial close yet
!NiXa Solar One 100MW Northern Cape 3 Operational
Karoshoek Solar One 100MW Northern Cape 3 Operational
Kathu Solar Park 100MW Northern Cape 3.5 Operational
Kaxu Solar One 100MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Redstone Solar Thermal Power Plant 100MW Northern Cape 3.5 Under construction
Adams Solar PV 2 75MW Northern Cape 3 Operational
Dyason’s Klip 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Dyason’s Klip 2 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Graspan Solar PV Project 75MW Northern Cape 5 Under construction
Grootfontein PV 1 75MW Western Cape 5 Under construction
Grootfontein PV 2 75MW Western Cape 5 Under construction
Grootfontein PV 3 75MW Western Cape 5 Under construction
Grootspruit Solar PV Project 75MW Free State 5 Under construction
Jasper Power Company 75MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
Konsoonsies II Solar PV Facility 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Matla A Bokone Solar 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Mulilo Prieska PV 75MW Northern Cape 3 Operational
Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska PV 75MW Northern Cape 3 Operational
Paleisheuwel 75MW Western Cape 3 Operational
Pulida Solar Park 75MW Free State 3 Operational
REISA 75MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Sirius Solar PV Project One 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Solar Capital De Aar 1 75MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Solar Capital De Aar 3 75MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
Solar Capital Orange 75MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Waterloo Solar Park 75MW North West 4 Operational
Zeerust 75MW North West 4 Operational
Sishen Solar Facility 74MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
Kalkbult 72.4MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Dreunberg 69.6MW Eastern Cape 2 Operational
Bokamoso 67.9MW North West 4 Operational
Lesedi Power Company 64MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Letsatsi Power Company 64MW Free State 1 Operational
Tom Burke Solar Park 60MW Limpopop 3 Operational
Boshoff Solar Park 57MW Free State 2 Operational
Boikanyo Solar 55MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Bokpoort CSP Project 50MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
De Wildt 50MW North West 4 Operational
Khi Solar One 50MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
De Aar Solar Power 45.6MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Droogfontein Solar Power 45.4MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Aggeneys Solar 40MW Northern Cape 4 Operational
Linde 36.8MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
Touwsrivier Project 36MW Western Cape 1 Operational
Witkop Solar Park 29.68MW Limpopo 1 Operational
Soutpan Solar Park 27.94MW Limpopo 1 Operational
Herbert PV Power Plant 19.9MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV Prieska 19.12MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV De Aar 10MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Greefspan PV Power Plant 9.9MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Aries Solar Energy Facility 9.65MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Konkoonsies Solar Facility 9.65MW Northern Cape 1 Operational
Aurora-Rietvlei Solar Power 8.9MW Western Cape 2 Operational
Upington Airport 8.9MW Northern Cape 2 Operational
Vredendal Solar Park 8.8MW Western Cape 3 Operational
RustMo1 Solar Farm 6.93MW North West 1 Operational
Slimsun Swartland Solar Park 5MW Western Cape 1 Operational

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South Africa’s solar power plants — with over 4,400MW capacity