Taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, Release by Scatec hosted delegates from the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE)‘s West African Power Pool (WAPP) Organisation – a specialised agency associating public and private power entities of 14 West African states. As part of a broader programme led by WAPP, and funded by the World Bank, the objective was to upskill power experts in the realm of renewable energy – in order to trigger scaling up of investment and development of solar PV plants at a regional (continental) scale.
The WAPP and Release by Scatec partnered to drive education and experience in solar PV plant operation and maintenance, leveraging Scatec’s experience in successfully operating large scale PV plants. With a dedicated focus to the West African region, Release led a one-week study trip to Scatec’s Cape Town office, and operational PV facilities and test sites in Upington and Stellenbosch.
In addition to this, classroom sessions were hosted – as well as a tour Scatec’s Control and Monitoring Centre (CMC). Bustling discussions with Scatec and Release staff enabled the trainees to exchange on real life issues related to PV power plant operations.
Trainees were also invited to a presentation from Dr. Wikus Kruger, an academic and industry leader from the University of Cape Town, who shared lessons and pathways to accelerated investment into renewable energy on the African continent. The chief engineer from the Planning Centre of Excellence (Eskom), Riaan Smit, also made hosted a session on the planning of PV deployment and grid related integration challenges.
Throughout this process, the Release by Scatec business model was explained, and shown in action. Challenges of high capital amounts (if publicly financed), guarantee requirements, 25 years commitment and difficulties to reach financial close (if private projects) for solar PV facilities were all highlight as hurdles to widespread implementation of renewable energy in emerging markets. Release by Scatec’s study tour not only allowed knowledge transfer to occur, but also showed that our business offering solves pain points currently experienced by African utilities: a partnership approach that has simplified and flexible contracts, quick installation, limited upfront investment, scalability, and guaranteed performance. The Release model truly empowers the client – with deep learning and understanding transferred during the operation and maintenance of the plant. This is where true knowledge sharing happens.
Throughout the week, the trainees built a strong team spirit thanks to the visits, workshops, and mutual sharing of experience by Scatec and Release. A sense of pride was felt by the organising committee, as it was a unique moment where our company and employees could share their experience and expertise – as well as learn the delegation of WAPP members.
Scaling and launching an independent Release platform is key in the optimisation of Scatec’s portfolio, and a driving force in the company’s updated strategy. Sharing our offering to key stakeholders and markets is crucial to our growth, and we are proud to show our strategy in action.