AGGENEYS SOLAR KICKS OFF WITH MAYORAL SUPPORT
Aggeneys Solar has announced the commencement of its 20-year commercial operations period, a proudly Northern Cape solar facility.
It is not surprising that this solar-abundant Khai-Ma Local Municipality area has attracted another solar plant, considering the exceedingly high levels of solar radiation. The Province has become a renewable energy hub, housing a number of Renewable Energy Development Zones and helping to boost local employment and development.
At the height of construction, Aggeneys Solar provided jobs to around 400 workers from the towns of Aggeneys, Witbank, Pofadder and Pella, within the 50km radius of the plant. These are the same communities that will benefit from economic development programmes, through the 20-year operations period of the plant.
The local Mayor, Councillor Pasqueline van Heerden, who has generously supported the solar plant during construction, said, “The construction part of the project has had a positive impact on the livelihood of the surrounding communities, due to the number of locals that where employed.” She added that the Khâi-Ma sub-region always welcomed such renewable energy projects because of the value it adds to the development of the area.
“We hope that local skills development programs will take place so that community members can apply for permanent positions, once the project is commissioned; and that the Community Trust will rightfully benefit the broader community,” continued Councillor Pasqueline van Heerden.
The focus of the economic development initiatives, during the solar plant’s operation, will include education; skills development; and environmental stewardship, in addition to others. During the construction programme a number of early spend programmes were implemented, focused on the provision of secondary school study guides across various subjects for Grades 8 to 12. This is in addition to the various COVID-19 relief programmes, aimed at alleviating the impact of the pandemic on local communities.
Aggeneys Solar commenced construction on 20 September 2018 and achieved its commercial operations on 25 July 2020.