Independent Power Producer (IPP) Red Rocket South Africa has just commissioned its Kruisvallei hydroelectric power station on the Ash River. The run-of-river plant, connected to the Eskom grid, has a capacity of 4 MW.
The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) is still delivering results. This initiative of the South African government has led to the construction of several clean energy facilities in the country, including the Kruisvallei hydroelectric power station which has just entered commercial operation. This project was developed by Red Rocket South Africa, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Cape Town.
The IPP has built a run-of-river power station with a capacity of 4 MW. Unlike ordinary hydropower plants, which operate with a dam, run-of-river plants have very little impact on the environment, as they exploit the rapids in the rivers. “The flow of the Ash River varies between about 15m3 and 40m3 per second, depending on the commissioning schedule of the Lesotho Highlands Scheme. It is estimated that about 1 billion cubic metres of water will pass through each turbine per year,” explains Red Rocket.
A $24.5 million investment
The Kruisvallei hydroelectric power station is located on the Ash River between Clarens and Bethlehem in the Free State Province. The facility has two units capable of producing 24 GWh of electricity per year. This power injected into the grid of the public company Eskom is capable of supplying at least 1,916 South African households with electricity. Red Rocket was awarded this concession under the 4th round of the REIPPP tender.
The IPP signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Eskom. “The completion of commercial operations on this project also marks an important milestone for Red Rocket EPC, which built the hydropower plant. The facility will be managed, operated and maintained by Red Rocket Asset Management and O&M Companies respectively. This is the first project in its larger portfolio that has been undertaken using the company’s fully integrated business model,” explains Red Rocket.
The Kruisvallei hydroelectric project required an investment of 370 million South African rand ($24.5 million). Red Rocket developed this renewable energy project in partnership with several investors including H1 Holdings, which has a 46.5% stake in the project company, Zevobuzz (RF) (Pty). The Small Renewable Transaction Investment Facility (First), a loan fund dedicated to renewable energy projects in South Africa, provided approximately R235 million ($15.4 million) in financing for the construction of the Kruisvallei hydroelectric power station.
Jean Marie Takouleu