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United States to fund South African solar power plant

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States’ government development finance institution, said it has approved funding for a $400 million solar farm in South Africa as part of new energy projects in emerging markets.

California-based SolarReserve and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power will collaborate to build and operate the 100 megawatt solar plant in the Northern Cape province, said OPIC in a statement published last Thursday and seen by Reuters on Monday.

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The company said the initiative was part of President Barack Obama’s $7 billion plan to “Power Africa“. Launched in 2013, the plan aims to boost electricity access in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The initiative has prioritised expanding the continent’s capacity to generate electricity, with an additional focus on small-scale renewable energy investments.

OPIC also said it had granted South African lender Standard Bank $250 million to fund power generation and infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.

OPIC was created in 1969 during the administration of Richard Nixon as a “soft power” tool to extend U.S. influence in the developing world by funnelling private sector money to core infrastructure projects.

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About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.