A sub-committee of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has recommended the approval of the 40 MW Gold Fields solar project located at the South Deep mine in Gauteng. Announced at a virtual meeting on Friday, the sub-committee is in full support of the license approval, which is expected to be granted at the next meeting on February 25.
The solar project would generate between 20% and 25% of the average consumption of the South Deep mine, a significant electricity user in South Africa. The development of a solar facility that aims to provide a reliable and consistent electricity supply to the mine will not only facilitate smoother production processes, but also demonstrate the role that renewable energy will play in South Africa’s emerging energy mix.
Gold Fields – one of the largest gold mining firms globally – has waited over three years for the approval of the project. The license application has demonstrated the challenges associated with securing a generation license in South Africa, and therefore, emphasized the importance of regulatory and policy amendments in attracting clean energy investment and project developments.