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SPS & Partners provide 10 MW Solar Solution to B2Gold’s Otjikoto Mine in Namibia

Published: 22 January 2024

Sustainable Power Solutions (SPS), together with its Namibian partners, Fortitude and the Oelofse family, are pioneering the latest development in Namibia’s energy and mining sector.

SPS Solar Plant Namibia

N$200 Million Renewable Energy Flagship Project

SPS is leading the development and funding of a N$200 million investment in a 10MW solar plant, which will generate approximately 26 360 MWh of clean renewable energy per year. This will be the first wheeling project implemented under NamPower’s Modified Single Buyer (MSB) framework, meaning that the solar plant will not be connected behind the customer’s meter, but at a different location on Nampower’s grid, with the clean energy generated by the solar plant being allocated or ‘wheeled’ to the customer.  

Nampower’s MSB framework empowers Independent Power Producers (IPPs) to produce and sell electricity directly to regional electricity distributors, large industrial and mining companies, as well as municipalities. This is an improvement to the previous single-buyer model, where electricity output was restricted to being sold only to NamPower.

The solar plant is being constructed on Maxwell Farm situated in North Central Namibia, and is set to be operational by the end of 2024. The energy will be injected into NamPower’s brand-new Eldorado substation from where it will be allocated under the MSB framework to B2Gold’s Otjikoto Mine, located approximately 300 km north of Windhoek.

B2Gold is Namibia’s leading gold producer, with an estimated gold output of 200,000 ounces in 2023 and a workforce of 976 employees.

Francois van Themaat, CEO of SPS, states, “We are thrilled to be developing this novel project for B2Gold with our Namibian partners – Fortitude and the Oelofse family. I want to thank NamPower and the ECB for their investor-friendly approach and for their assistance in making this project a reality.”    

Championing Sustainable Energy

SPS is a leading Sub-Saharan African funder, developer, and asset manager of solar PV & and battery storage plants in the commercial & industrial market. The company is partnering with Fortitude, a multi-disciplinary property development and project management firm, as well as the Oelofse family, known for their long-time dedication to Namibian wildlife conservation. The Oelofse family, who owns Maxwell Farm, is also an investor in the project.

“This partnership exemplifies our commitment to sustainable energy and innovation,” remarked Alex Oelofse of Maxwell Farm. “The solar plant’s development marks a milestone in our collective pursuit of greener, more efficient energy solutions.”

Fortitude will play an integral role in the engineering, value-engineering and quality control processes during the construction phase of the power plant.

Sven Patzner of Fortitude says, “We are very excited to be involved in the prestigious Maxwell Solar Power Project. Being able to provide solar energy to one of Namibia’s most respected mining operators in B2Gold, together with the Oelofse Family and SPS, is both a remarkable opportunity and example of what can be achieved through key collaborations and partnerships in the long-term interest of all stakeholders as well as Namibia’s clean energy ambitions moving forward.”

Further to the first phase 10 MW plant, SPS and partners are already looking to expand the project to deliver clean renewable energy to additional customers in Namibia.

Namibia Leading the Way

Namibia’s investor-friendly approach and open regulatory environment provided a conducive backdrop for this project, helping to increase the country’s renewable energy penetration and reducing reliance on imported energy and fossil fuels.
In a broader context, the MSB framework resembles energy wheeling frameworks, wherein electricity is generated at a specific grid point and distributed to other large consumers via the utility’s network. This initiative aims to ensure the effective provision of electricity, foster a competitive environment in the electricity industry, and encourage private sector investments in the industry.

Sustainable Mining Excellence at B2Gold's Otjikoto Gold Mine

B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine will be one of Namibia’s greenest mines, with the aim of offsetting an additional 26 360 tonnes of CO2 annually. This aligns with B2Gold’s climate strategy, to achieve a 30% reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 & progressing towards a net zero operation at the Otjikoto mine.

John Roos, Country Manager of B2Gold Namibia, commented, “We are elated about the prospects of this collaboration with SPS, Fortitude, and the Oelofse Family. This solar project embodies our unwavering commitment to sustainable mining practices.”

SPS and partners will provide further updates as the Maxwell Solar Power Plant is being constructed and paves the way to a greener and more sustainable energy future.

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