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South Africa’s speedy connection – solar energy to the grid

graph-solar-upflag-S.AfricaSouth African solar plant connects to the grid three months ahead of schedule, Renewable Energy Magazine, Robin Whitlock Friday, 15 November 2013 The 75MW Kalkbult solar plant will generate 135 million kilowatt hours per year and displace 115,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions A solar plant built by Scatech Solar in cooperation with local partners has become the first utility-scale renewable energy facility to supply electricity to South African public utility Eskom after connecting to the country’s electricity grid three months ahead of schedule.

The 75MW Kalkbult solar PV plant near Petrusville in the Northern Cape, was officially opened on Tuesday 12thNovember.  It will generate 135 million kilowatt hours per year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 33,000 households. The plant covers 105 hectares of a working sheep farm and consists of 312,000 solar panels linked to inverters, transformers and a high-voltage sub-station. More than 600 people were employed during its construction, many from the local community…….

The plant is among 47 solar, wind and mini-hydro projects awarded 20-year electricity generation contracts under the South African government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), introduced three years ago by the Department of Energy. Total investment in the programme is estimated at R74 billion which will climb above R100 billion following the government’s acceptance of 17 new bids.  The aim of the programme is to help the country combat climate change by reducing its current near-total dependence on coal-based electricity and accompanying high level of greenhouse gas emissions. The Kalbult plant is intended to displace annual greenhouse gas emissions of 115,000 tons.

The project will also add momentum to the country’s Green Economy Accord signed three years ago with the aim of creating 300,000 new jobs in renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, biofuel production, manufacturing in support of green projects and natural resource conservation and rehabilitation.


November 16, 2013 - Posted by | renewable, South Africa

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