Notice of application for:
AN AMENDMENT TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL AUTHORISATION OF THE MOGALAKWENA PHOTOVOLTAIC SOLAR ENERGY FACILITY FOR THE MOGALAKWENA MINE WITHIN THE MOGALAKWENA LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, LIMPOPO PROVINCE
Mogalakwena Mine Solar Power (Pty) Ltd was granted an Environmental Authorisation (EA) to construct a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy facility and associated transmission lines to supply power to the mine. The EA was granted on 9 December 2021 (ref. no. 12/1/9/2/-W89).
Due to project changes, the scope of the EA will now have to be amended.
Zutari (Pty) Ltd was appointed as the independent Environmental Assessment Practitioner to undertake a Substantive (Part 2) Amendment for the proposed change in EA scope, in accordance with Chapter 5 of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Regulations Government Notice (GN) R982 of 2014.
Mogalakwena Mine Solar Power appointed Pele Green Energy (PGE) and EDF Renewables, a consortium known as PGE-EDFR as the Independent Power Producer to develop the proposed project. PGE provided a design for the project, but the approved footprint proved insufficient. The only available area for expansion on the site is a Critical Biodiversity Area (CBA) east of the authorised layout. The proposed expansion area is approximately 24.9 ha, of which approximately 16 ha is within an area designated as a CBA 1 in the Limpopo Conservation Plan (C-Plan).
Condition 4 of the existing EA excludes the CBA from the development footprint. Therefore, an amendment to the EA is required from the competent authority, Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism (LEDET) to authorise development in this proposed area of expansion.
This application applies for authorisation of expansion of the approved footprint, which includes the solar farm, inverters, internal access roads for servicing and maintenance of the site; stormwater management infrastructure; and temporary equipment laydown areas/construction camps. This will allow up to 120 MW of total generation capacity of the plant as authorised by the existing EA.
Other components of the project that have already been authorised remain unchanged. This includes electricity generation of up to 120MW, connection and control buildings, a guard cabin; weather stations; perimeter fencing; and a substation and/or switchyard to convert power for transmission to Mogalakwena Mine.
The PV energy facility and associated infrastructure are proposed to be developed on the preferred site situated on the Remainder of Portion 3 of the Farm Armoede 823. The proposed site is located east of the N11 main road, 27 km northwest of the town of Mokopane in the Limpopo Province.