“There was a lot of time to explore,” Dames said.
AREP holds mostly solar assets along with a third generated by wind and a small portion of biomass. The company has interest in the secondary market set to open up and could potentially include energy trading, he said.
Last year it formed a joint venture with Absa Group Ltd that together made up R6.5bn of renewable assets, forming a fund known as African Rainbow Energy.
Large renewable portfolios in Africa have been drawing major interest. Lekela Power, with 1,300MW of green energy capacity, has been valued at about $1.8bn (about R28.9bn), a person familiar with the sale of a 60% stake in the company said earlier this month.
SA last month registered the biggest projects, two solar stations at 100MW each, to cut red tape and help increase the pace of private generation by not requiring a licence. The projects are being developed in North West by Sola Group, which is 40% owned by AREP.
Lifting the cap on the licence exemption has dramatically changed the landscape for private generation, Dames said. Grid access remains one of the biggest challenges to add more renewable energy.
AREP’s holding company, Motsepe’s Ubuntu-Botho Energy Holdings Proprietary Ltd, is a partner in Breakthrough Energy Ventures, an initiative started by Bill Gates focused on reaching net-zero emissions globally.
After reaching a target of 5,000MW of capacity, AREP would start a strategy on how to expand the business around energy trading, the power grid, storage solutions and other opportunities on the continent, Dames said.
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