SOUTH AFRICA – Private hospital group Mediclinic has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with renewable energy producer Moshesh Partners to deploy a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in six of its hospitals.

Mediclinic has made this move not so long after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a decision to raise the limit on the self-generation of electricity.

The president said South Africa will raise the limit on self-generation of renewable power from 1MW to 100MW, including the ability to sell excess capacity into the grid, declaring energy security as “South Africa’s single most important objective in reviving growth”.

This after the country was, once again, been plunged into darkness, with embattled power utility Eskom warning that load-shedding is likely to last for the next five years due to a shortfall of power generation.

Amending Schedule 2 of the Electricity Regulation Act will remove a significant obstacle to investment in embedded generation projects.

The group has signed a 12-year power purchase agreement with Moshesh (with the option to extend to 25 years) to ensure that the hospitals have access to affordable and clean power over that time.

According to Mediclinic, the solar PV systems will generate electricity that is supplied directly to each hospital site, affording them cost savings on their monthly power bills, while relieving pressure on the constrained national grid.

“Having access to on-site clean, affordable energy will help Mediclinic manage its energy costs while helping us reduce the group’s carbon footprint – a key priority for our business”, Kobus Jonck – General Manager of Infrastructure, Mediclinic Southern Africa.

Installations will be rolled across the country from June to December 2021.

Across the six hospitals, the solar sites installed and managed by Moshesh Partners will have the capacity to generate approximately 4,100,000kWh per annum, with the largest facilities being installed at Mediclinic Vergelegen and Mediclinic Durbanville.

Our investment in the project portfolio includes the full installation cost of the solar PV systems, as well as maintaining them to ensure consistent, excellent performance,” says Daniel Palm, CIO and co-founding member of Moshesh Partners.

Mediclinic will benefit from immediate and tangible savings, as well as consistent energy supply from a renewable energy source, without having to allocate capital expenditure.”

The PV system, according to the company, will be built by ACES Africa, which has already completed 153 similar projects in six countries.

This is the first investment out of the Moshesh Partners RECI Fund since it reached the first close of its US$143 million renewable energy and clean infrastructure energy fund in September 2020.

The project, according to the company, sets the scene for how the fund can help businesses secure consistent energy supplies at predictable pricing from independent and renewable sources without capital investment.