South Africa: Construction of Priesca solar power plant kicks off

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SunPower has announced the start of construction of Prieska solar power plant in Northern Cape Province, South Africa. The new power plant will add 86-megawatt peak (MWp) and is expected to take a year to complete.

The Prieska solar power plant is expected to be of great boost to power sector in the country, having experienced consistent load shedding. SunPower will be expected to feature its latest Oasis solar technology on the new project. Using the single-axis trackers, the Oasis solar technology helps position the solar panels on the direction of the sun during the day. This makes the panels capture 25% more energy compared to the 25 fixed-tilt solar technologies.

SunPower has experience in constructing solar power plants and their Oasis power plant is a fully-integrated solution built with cost-optimized power blocks seamlessly integrated into a turnkey energy solution.

After construction of the new solar power plant, the main South African public power utility ESKOM will be able to purchase the available power for distribution to consumers under a purchase agreement to be agreed on once the projected is complete.

The project marks the third solar power plant that has been constructed by the leader SunPower under the (REIPPP), an independent power producer program by the Southern African Government. SunPower will also operate and maintain the plant after the construction.

The company has good track record since it has successfully constructed two unique ground-mounted solar plants which makes a total of 33Megawatts in the Nothern cape in South Africa.

According to the Sun Power CEO Tom Werner is with an abundance of reliable, cost-effective solar resources, South Africa is one of the fastest growing solar markets in the world today. The company is targeting to produce 160 megawatts of SunPower solar energy per year in the country.

“We are pleased to grow our presence in South Africa with the development of solar power plants that enable South Africa’s government to achieve its renewable goals, and look forward to continuing to serve the region with the opening of our new solar panel manufacturing plant this year.”

Implementation of the Prieska solar power plant will be undertaken in relation to an agreement signed with South African Mulilo Solar Enterprises and Total, SunPower’s majority shareholder. Apart from the Prieska solar power plant  construction project, the company has undertaken two others in Douglas in the Northern Cape province, totaling 33MW.

Scalet Solar also recently emerged the preferred bidder a mega 285MW solar power project to be located at the Nothern Cape Province in South Africa, under the REIPP. In an attempt to boost power supply, there has been witnessed new renewable energy projects in the country such as Greefspan Solar Park, Herbert Solar Park, Kathu Solar Park, Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project.