Saudi-listed ACWA Power signs deal for renewable energy in SA
Acwa Power, one of the world's largest private water desalination companies and a leader in energy transition has entered into a power purchase agreement for a 150MW dispatchable renewable hybrid plant in South Africa. This development marks Acwa as a key shareholder and developer in Project DAO.
The investor consortium for the project includes Thebe Investment Corporation and Aventro Investments, all of whom have notable involvement in significant renewable energy initiatives. The agreement was formalized by Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Gwede Mantashe, Eskom representative Segomoco Scheppers, and Ashley Singh, a signatory from Acwa Power for Project DAO.
Project DAO, identified as one of the preferred bidders in the Risk Mitigation IPP Procurement Program in 2021 with the lowest tariff, aims to feature the largest solar PV installation in the country, boasting 442 MW, accompanied by approximately 1,200 MWh of battery storage—one of the largest globally. The plant is scheduled to commence operations in the second quarter of 2026, contributing substantial dispatchable capacity to the grid.
The DAO project carries a total cost of around $800 million, making it one of the most substantial hybrid investments in the South African renewable energy sector during its construction phase. ACWA Power serves as the primary developer, with Thebe Investment Corporation Pty Ltd and Aventro Investments Pty Ltd among the list of investors. Anticipated as a significant contributor to the national grid, the project aims to provide efficient and clean energy while positively impacting the socio-economic landscape through the creation of job opportunities. Projections indicate that the project will generate over 1,000 construction jobs at its peak, with approximately 25% of these opportunities benefiting the local community. This emphasis on local employment underscores the project's commitment to fostering economic development within the region.