Ample Solar is a wholly owned subsidiary of Afri-devo Energy. The Company was established in 2010 with a strategic focus of developing and holding ownership of profitable renewable energy projects in South Africa and the SADEC region. The company was primarily established to harness the ample opportunities presented in the South African Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for Electricity 2010-2030. Coupled with the fact that the holding company Afridevo (Pty) Ltd was strategically positioned in Kimberley (Northern Cape), a province well endowed with solar irradiation, hence most of our projects are in that region.
The initial draft of the IRP2010 laid out the proposed generation new build fleet for South Africa for the period 2010 to 2030. This included a new Nuclear Build fleet of 9.6 GW, 6.3 GW of Coal Fleet, 11.4 GW of renewable energy and 11 GW of other generation sources. A second round of public participation led to several changes of the IRP model assumptions and this led to the policy adjusted IRP which included among other things the installation of renewable energy of 8.4 GW for Solar being brought forward in order to accelerate the local industry. On the strength of all of these the company took a resolution to immediately secure strategic sites with high levels of solar irradiation, closer access to grid connection points and other infrastructure. The other secondary motivation and strategic decision item in choosing projects was partnership with Communal Land owners from previous disadvantaged backgrounds with high levels of poverty and unemployment.
In 2011 company entered into exclusivity agreements to develop solar projects with the Xun & Khwe and Groenwater communities where we would enter into option to lease agreements to develop the Solar projects. In August 2011 the DOE officially launched the RFP to procure 3 700 MW of electricity from Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers (REIPPP). We commenced with the Environmental Impact Assessments in March 2011 and the Record of Decision was issued for the following projects:
- XK Solar Energy a 75 MW PV in Kimberley, NC;
- XK CSP Solar Energy a 100 MW CSP Project in Kimberley NC;
- Metsimatala Solar Farm a 50 MW PV Project in Tsantsabane, NC; and
- Metsimatala CSP Solar Energy a 50 MW CSP Project in Tsantsabane, NC.
In October 2012 Ample Solar partnered with a Spanish Developer to submit the two PV projects in window 3 of the DOE’s REIPPP. The projects were submitted in August 2013 and met all the qualification criteria as laid out in the RFP and both projects were selected as reserved bidder project subject to a ministerial determination to allocate extra megawatts for these projects. However the extra allocation was never approved.
Along with this, the company also secured 2 sites in Welkom, in the Free State, to develop two 75 MW Photovoltaic projects. The DEA approval for these projects was issued in June 2014 and the intention is to submit the projects in Window 5 of the RFP due in August 2015.
In 2012 we secured another site owned by the Batlharo-Ba-Ga Motlhware tribal authority in Kuruman stretching over 15 000 ha in size, in the Northern Cape. The long term objective is to develop over 300 MW of CSP and 150 MW of PV or CPV projects in the area. The projects are still at feasibility and will be commissioned in 2nd Quarter of 2015.
As a small and emerging black IPP company we will strive to form strategic partnerships with marginalised communities owning highly underutilised land. These partnerships will add much needed socio economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation in the areas we operate in and at the same time yield economic benefits for all of our investment partners.