Major PV solar construction project in South Africa nears completion

Major PV solar construction project in South Africa nears completion

Major PV solar construction project in South Africa, being built by Juwi Renewable Energies is nearing completion and will be connected to the national grid in the third quarter of this year.

The Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska PV solar power project sits on 125ha 50km South-west of Prieska in the Northern Cape.

The project valued at R1.3bn is said to be on schedule and within the confines of the budgetary allocation. The ambitious 86MW power project covers a surface area equivalent to 125 football or rugby fields and expected to power 86,000 homes.

Sonnedix country manager Farid Moucer said the project, under the umbrella of Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPPP) will be run under auspices of the Department of Energy. The project has a 20-year lifespan and will be operated by a team of local experts.

The project is built by Juwi Renewable Energies, a South African subsidiary of the International Juwi Group and will host 275000 PV. Modules connected by 990km length of cable. Even with simple technology, the logistics behind coordinating a project of such magnitude are tremendous.

With South Africa’s rich investment in the renewable energy sector, a big percentage of these projects in the Northern Cape, the sector has made a huge impact in the region I terms of job creation and a boom of business for South African suppliers.

The project contractor has put more emphasis on sourcing locally equipment that are locally available in the South African market and only importing those components that are not available locally. The project has created 850 jobs with over 500 exclusively going to the local population living in the region.

This has helped change the local lifestyle. “The lifestyle of the many people has really changed. Many came with nothing and are now supervisors, junior supervisors, team leaders, forklift drivers. This solar project gives the community of the Siyathemba area a lot of hope,” said Piet Olyn, project community liaison officer.

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