German firm wins major South Africa solar contract

solarpanels08 December 2013, Johannesburg – A German company has landed its biggest ever solar contract – thanks to South Africa’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers.

Juwi AG, which has its headquarters in Wörrstadt, will provide engineering, procurement and construction services for an 86-megawatt (MW) solar park in Prieska in South Africa’s sun-drenched Northern Cape province, the company said in a statement last week.

Juwi will be working with Sonnedix, an independent solar power producer based in Amsterdam, which landed the contract as one of six solar projects awarded in the third round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

Sonnedix’s South African partners include Mulilo Renewable Energy and Ixowave Women in Power.

Known as the Mulilo Sonnedix Prieska PV solar park, it will be larger than any PV plant currently on line on the African continent, and will be Juwi’s fifth project in South Africa.

“The project … represents an investment of more than R1.2-billion,” Olivier Renon, South Africa country manager of Sonnedix, told news website PV-Tech last month. He said construction was expected to begin in the second half of 2014, and the park should start generating electricity to the South African grid by the end of 2015.

Under the government’s Integrated Resource Plan, a 20-year projection on electricity supply and demand, about 42% of electricity generated in South Africa will have to come from renewable resources. The Department of Energy’s REIPPP, introduced in August 2011, will help meet this target.

The programme has helped investment grow from “a few hundred million dollars” to US$5.7-billion last year, according to the Renewables 2013 Global Status Report published in July by REN21, the global renewable energy policy network.


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