SOLA and Tronox mines sign 200mw wheeling contract | Infrastructure news

Titanium dioxide pigment manufacturer, Tronox Holdings plc has announced its agreement in partaking in a long-term power purchase contract with SOLA Group, an independent power producer to supply 200 MW of solar power to its mines and smelters in the Republic of South Africa.

The energy will be supplied to Tronox through wheeling agreements, in which ESKOM will receive payment for the maintenance and service of its infrastructure to transport it.

The implementation of the agreements comes after the country’s complications with load shedding and its dire need for extra capacity to be added to its electricity network.

Tronox Holding plc’s Senior Vice President, External Affairs and Chief Sustainability Officer Melissa Zona said, “Tronox’s renewable energy project with SOLA Group will reduce our global carbon emissions by approximately 13% compared to our 2019 baseline and has the full support of our Board of Directors and senior management.”

The projects will largely be owned and operated by SOLA Group and supply approximately 540 GWh of energy across five mining operations through the long-term power purchase agreements. The Developments will utilise the government’s licensing requirements which exclude projects up to 100MW in size from requiring a generation license.

Chris Haw, Director, and co-founder at the SOLA Group said, “We are delighted to see that large scale energy consumers like Tronox, are making use of the opportunity to convert to clean and cost-effective energy.

“These types of projects are the fastest way to bring new generation capacity online and not only contribute to closing the electricity supply gap in our country, but also support the much-needed transition to clean energy and modernization of our electricity grid,” he added.

SOLA Group initially implemented the wheeling concept in larger volumes with Amazon Web Services in 2021 and permits projects in advanced stages of development to contract with private energy consumers thereby shortening permitting, procurement, and construction timelines.

As a leader in the supply of clean energy solutions to private companies in Africa and a vertically integrated Independent Power Producer the SOLA Group’s mission is to transform Africa through clean energy.

The projects are expected to start construction in the third quarter of 2022 and be fully implemented by the fourth quarter of 2023.

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