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Jasper solar project vs Eskom’s Medupi coal power station

The 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) Jasper solar power project came online recently, providing enough electricity to power up to 80,000 households.

The Jasper project is located in a Northern Cape solar park which includes the 75MW Lesedi solar power project which came online in May 2014 and was constructed within a year – two months ahead of schedule.  The project reached financial close in October 2013 and full construction began on site in December 2013. Full commercial operations were achieved a year later in October 2014. It cost approximately R2.9 billion ($260 million) and has created in excess of 800 direct construction jobs.

During the 20+ year operating life (the Jasper project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom) the project will spend in excess of R2 billion on operations and maintenance costs.

Medupi, in comparison with the Jasper project which was completed early, is around 4 years behind schedule.

According to Business Day the Medupi project costs also escalated to R105 billion – R35 billion higher than the 2007 estimates.

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