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INTERVIEW

A solar project in Touwsrivier is powering ahead The Managing Director of Pele Green Energy, Gqi Raoleka, expands on his company’s goal to work with rural communities to become self-sufficient.

Gqi Raoleka, MD

What is the aim of the project? The project is a 36MW Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Solar Power plant. It provides solar renewable energy directly into the national grid. It forms part of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). When was it launched?

In December 2017, the power plant would have reached its third year of operation. Power is being provided directly into the national grid to Eskom.

BIOGRAPHY Gqi Raoleka is a founding member of the Pele Energy Group and the Managing Director of the renewable energy subsidiary, Pele Green Energy, which was founded in 2009. He has a degree in Economics and Econometrics and an Honours degree in International and Monetary Finance from the University of Johannesburg. Under Gqi’s leadership, Pele Green Energy has developed into one of the largest Independent Power Producers in South Africa with a portfolio of over 850MW. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2018

Is any new technology being used? The project uses CPV modules or panels instead of the more regular Photovoltaic (PV) panels. The CPV modules allow for greater efficiencies in the energy generation. The CPV modules are mounted on dual axis trackers which allows the power plant to track the sun’s movement all day leading to further improved efficiencies. Who are the partners in the project? Soitec is the CPV equipment supplier and a shareholder in the project. Pele Green Energy holds 35% of the project shareholding and the local community holds 5%. Group Five was the Balance of Plant provider and the project’s senior debt was funded through the raising of a bond on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. What is the community involvement?

Our power plant, CPV1, invests a share of annual revenues in the socio-economic and enterprise development of our host community, Touwsrivier. The community also owns 5% of the power plant. Our focus is on the economic revival of the community. We have a 20-year licence to operate and intend to use our social investments to diversify and grow the local economy to ensure that the community becomes self-sustaining. We do this through Knowledge Pele, a development firm that delivers a series of targeted interventions

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Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

Western Cape Business 2018  

The 2018 edition of Western Cape Business is the 11th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has estab...

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