South Africa's electricity provider Eskom has signed a loan agreement of more than 100 million US dollars to build a 100 MW solar power plant, the state-run company said on Wednesday.
In a statement released in Johannesburg, Eskom Chief Executive Officer Brian Dames said the 101-million-dollar loan was obtained from Agence Francaise de Development, a French development finance institution.
The news came after French President Francois Hollande just ended his two-day state visit to South Africa.
The loan, Dames said, will immensely contribute to the use of renewable energy in South Africa.
"Concentrating Solar Power puts us on a path towards reducing our carbon footprint and investing in sustainable energy future," said Dames.
The money will be used to fund the solar power plant in the Northern Cape Province. The plant is expected to supply power to 200,000 homes. "Promoting the localization of the plant's technology would also pave the way for industrial development and job creation," Eskom General Manager Ayanda Nakedi said.
In 2009, the South African government announced that it wanted to install 1 million solar water heaters in households and commercial buildings by 2014.
The country's ultimate target is to install 4 million solar water heaters, largely at poor households throughout the country by 2030. At an annual 24-hour global solar radiation average of 220 Watts per square meter, South Africa is one of the countries with sunshine as its richest resource.