Row2Rio Ocean rower Zirk Botha joins Solar Capital

Cape Town, 1 September 2021: World record-breaking ocean rower, Zirk Botha, who recently completed a solo voyage from Cape Town to Rio, has been appointed South Africa Country Manager by Solar Capital. A leading renewable energy company, Solar Capital is a subsidiary of the internationally successful Phelan Energy Group, established in 2008 by its
Chairman Paschal Phelan.


Zirk key focus will be on expanding the Solar Capital market footprint, with market development, people leadership and building key external relationships, while leading the management of an excellent South African team.


Louise Phelan, CEO of Phelan Energy, congratulated Botha on his appointment: “We are delighted to have a person, with proven determination who has such as wealth of solar experience, business development knowledge and people management skills at the helm of
our Southern African operations.”


Zirk also has a strong military background having served in the navy for 17 years, and has worked extensively for other renewables companies such as juwi Renewable Energies, where he worked for 10 years.


Solar Capital has developed over 200 MW of solar PV in South Africa, and has a further 86 MW currently under construction at Loeriesfontein. It has an extensive pipeline that can accommodate an additional 2000 MW.


Zirk sees his work in the renewables industry as part of his personal mission to drive sustainability to mitigate climate change. “The opportunity to head up the Solar Capital operations in South Africa provides me with an opportunity to expand my management and leadership skills, not only promoting sustainable development, but assisting to alleviate to the power shortage in SA. My Record-breaking row was a cold face experience of the negative impact that non-sustainable operations have on our oceans and the same is applicable to the rest of our planet.


“The planet is at a tipping point which makes it an urgent objective to initiate sustainable alternative energy sources for mining and large commercial manufacturing operations. To this end the recent change in NERSA licensing, which eliminates the requirement for a generation license under 100MW is a great step in the right direction and allows Solar Capital to provide innovative solutions at competitive costs to South African industrial users.”


Botha completed his solo transatlantic ocean row on his boat ‘Ratel’, from South Africa to Brazil covering a total distance of 7200km. After leaving Cape Town on 19 December 2020, Zirk reached the South American coast 71 days later, creating a new world record.


“My work for Solar Capital, is directly aimed at supporting the sustainability and expansion vision of the Phelan Energy Group.”


Issued on behalf of Solar Capital by Catalyst Communications

Contact Sue Parker-Smith, 082 5511 101,

Contact Zirk Botha, 082 5084194

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