Diversified mining and renewable energy solutions company, Exxaro Resources, alongside its wholly owned subsidiary, Cennergi, unveil the Lephalale Solar Project (LSP) through a sod-turning ceremony. Located in the Waterberg District of South Africa's Limpopo Province, the LSP signifies the start of Exxaro’s self-generation and organic growth aspiration, as part of implementing their Sustainable Growth and Impact strategy.
The project is a behind-the-meter solar PV plant of utility-scale. The sod-turning event is the ceremonial opening of the project. Construction has already commenced, with the project set to be completed during the first quarter of 2025. The LSP project is a significant milestone for Exxaro in its contribution towards enhanced energy security of the Grootegeluk Mine and Lephalale community, decarbonisation of its operations, energy cost savings, and South Africa’s energy transition pathway.
Leon Groenewald, Managing Director of Energy at Exxaro, states, “Our mission goes beyond profit; we also aim to be stewards of the environment in which we operate. We are actively engaging with the local community, and during the peak of construction, we aim to employ between 300 to 400 individuals, with a significant emphasis on sourcing local talent. We will contribute towards economic growth within this region.”
As a company whose vision is to invest in resources powering a clean world, the R1.56 bn investment will create a solar facility with an installed capacity of 68 MW, that will annually generate 176 Gigawatt hours of clean energy, designed to reduce emissions for 25 years from commissioning.
This project covers a 236-hectare development envelope approximately 25km west of Lephalale in Limpopo. The site is 2km from Marapong and around 4km from Eskom’s Matimba power station.
Exxaro’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nombasa Tsengwa, concludes, “We aim to grow from the exceptional business we have built over the past 17 years. Together, we can power possibility as we take advantage of the abundant renewable resources of our country, in the form of sunlight, wind and strategic minerals, and build shared prosperity and sustainable development because we know that there is a better place to be tomorrow, than where we are today.”
Limpopo Premier, Mr Chupu Stanley Mathabatha remarked that the Province welcomes the commitment made by Exxaro through the Lephalale Solar Project, more specifically in terms of revenue percentage which will be contributed to the socio-economic upliftment of the local communities as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“We have been following the developments which have today led to this successful sod turning, from the signing of Memorandum to develop wind farms in 2009; to the bidding of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme; until Cennergi become a full subsidiary of Exxaro which today we are here with you witnessing the mission fulfilled”.
“This is the road we have traversed together on the lane of Private Public Partnership in a quest to drive economic growth, create sustainable socio-economic development and create much needed jobs through cleaner and greener renewable energy,” concluded Premier Mathabatha.