Pele Green Energy secures R2.5 billion for renewable power projects

Pele Green Energy has won R2.5 billion in funding from lenders, including Nedbank, to help it build renewable power plants, including one ordered by Anglo American Platinum.

The other creditors include Norfund AS and the Industrial Development Corp., development finance institutions owned by the governments of Norway and South Africa, respectively, said Gqi Raoleka, Pele’s managing director. Nedbank will provide R1 billion, the IDC R829 million and Norfund R658 million.

The funding, 80% of which will be used for constructing new renewable energy plants, comes as the Johannesburg-based company pushes forward with plans to develop 2,000 MW of generation capacity. 

“This facility is shoring up our capital base, although we already know that a second round or an equity raise has to follow in the next year or so,” Raoleka said.

The loan includes a preference share clause that will allow the lenders to benefit if Pele Green increases in value.

Pele and other renewable energy plant developers are capitalizing on a drive by companies in South Africa to source their own power as the state power utility, Eskom, subjects the nation to regular power cuts.

The government this week issued a request for private companies to build 5 gigawatts of new solar and wind power-generation projects

About 80% of the projects Pele plans to develop are for the private sector, with the rest being through bids in government-run auctions to supply the national grid.

The 100 MW solar power plant it’s developing for Anglo Platinum is one of the first the company will complete for a private client.

“As we grow we will take more majority ownership of projects,” said Matthew Wainwright, Pele’s chief financial officer, in the same interview.

Next year it plans to complete financial arrangements to build 200 MW of generation capacity for an international mining company, he said.

The company won the right to develop 150 megawatts of solar power in a government auction for supply to the national grid in November and plans to partake in further bidding rounds for solar, wind and battery storage plants.

“The plan is to own and operate five gigawatts of renewable energy projects by 2027,” said Raoleka.