The financing will enable US-based MEMC Electronic Materials and its subsidiary SunEdison to construct and operate the solar PV plant in Boshoff, Free State province.

Electricity generated by the plant will be purchased by the South African national grid and help reduce carbon emissions by 140,000t per annum.

The project is being developed under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Program that envisages 3,725MW of renewable energy to be online by 2016.

OPIC president Elizabeth Littlefield remarked that South Africa’s renewable energy program affirmed its leadership in the sector.

"We’re pleased to work with an experienced developer such SunEdison to deliver so many developmental benefits for South Africa, from the reduction of pollution and displacement of GHG emissions to the creation of local jobs and the realization of the country’s BEE program goals."

The PV plant is the first solar initiative of the agency in South Africa.