Mining billionaire Motsepe’s AREP buys into SOLA Group

 Mining billionaire Motsepe’s AREP buys into SOLA Group

African Rainbow Energy and Power (AREP), founded by South African mining billionaire Patrice Motsepe, has ramped up its investment in the renewable energy sector with the acquisition of a strategic stake in SOLA Group.

The Sandton-headquartered energy company said recently it picked up a 40% stake in SOLA at the end of 2020, becoming its largest shareholder. It didn’t disclose the deal value.

“The transaction with SOLA allows us to benefit from the utilisation of modern technology to provide affordable electricity, as well as benefit from their expertise in solar photovoltaics (PV). This also supports our strategic focus on delivering clean energy for the commercial and industrial sectors,” said AREP CEO Brian Dames.

As part of the transaction two AREP directors are joining SOLA’s board.

AREP is focused on the clean energy segment. It has a portfolio of renewable energy projects with total capacity of 740 megawatt. These include wind, solar PV and biomass plants.

SOLA Group has been active in both public and private-sector projects. It has 245 MW of renewable energy projects, 78 MW of commercial solar PV projects and 7 MWh of storage projects.

The group started with only four employees in 2008. It now employs more than 70 people.

SOLA recently announced a landmark deal with Amazon, in the first ever solar PV wheeling project in South Africa. The group will provide 10 MW of clean solar power to the multinational e-commerce company from a dedicated solar PV facility built 1,000 km from where the power is used.

Vivek Sinha

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