Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec has switched on its solar and battery facility, the Kenhardt project, in South Africa to begin delivering clean energy to the national grid.

Located in Northern Cape province, Kenhardt has an installed solar capacity of 540MW and 225MW/1.14 terawatt-hours (TWh) of battery storage capacity.

Kenhardt is one of the world’s largest solar and battery facilities.

Scatec CEO Terje Pilskog stated: “Today, we embark on an exciting journey into a new era of energy solutions. The Kenhardt project symbolises not only a technological triumph but a commitment to shaping a sustainable future.

“This is more than just a power plant; it is a testament to the limitless potential of integrating solar and battery storage to meet the evolving energy needs of today and tomorrow.

“I would like to congratulate the team of Scatec changemakers who have delivered this innovative project on schedule, within budget and with good HSSE [health, safety, security and environmental] performance and thank all partners and stakeholders who have been integral to this success.”

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Under a 20-year power purchase agreement with South African electricity public utility Eskom, the project will deliver 150MW of dispatchable power from 5am to 9.30pm throughout the year.

The Norwegian company invested $1bn in the hybrid power project.

Project debt was provided by the Standard Bank Group as lead arranger and by British International Investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa executive vice-president Jan Fourie stated: “This isn’t just about powering homes; it is about empowering communities. The Kenhardt project showcases the resilience and reliability of renewable energy, proving it to be a steadfast source of electricity capacity for the grid. Dispatchable renewables are the future.

“The progression from the development phase through construction, and now reaching the stage of commercial operation, has been a rewarding experience.

“We are ready to generate electricity and play a vital role in advancing South Africa’s green energy production with this innovative hybrid energy solution.”

In July 2023, Scatec achieved financial close on three solar projects in South Africa’s Western Cape province.