ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $225 million to supply two turnkey photovoltaic (PV) power plants that will be built in the northern province of Limpopo in South Africa. The orders were awarded by two special purpose entities, Core Energy and Erika Energy, whose primary stakeholders include Sun Edison, a leading global solar energy services provider.
The two plants located at the Witkop and Soutpan Solar Parks, will be located close to the city of Polokwane, the capital of Limpopo province. They will have a generating capacity of 33 megawatts (MW) and 31 MW respectively and will be among the first utility-scale PV power plants to be built in phase 1 of the South African government’s long-term renewable energy program. This program aims to reduce the impact of electricity generation on the environment and diversify the country’s energy mix by encouraging independent power producers to develop the country’s abundant renewable energy resources.
The power generated from these plants will be fed into the high-voltage transmission grid via a new high-voltage substation. Together, the plants will generate 130 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough clean energy to power around 36,000 South African homes and displace around 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. The projects are scheduled to be completed in 2013.
“Our vast experience in supplying high-efficiency PV power plants, combined with our local capabilities and presence will enable us to deliver best-in-class solutions and support the country’s vision to integrate renewable energies,” said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division.
Each turnkey solution will include design, engineering, installation and commissioning. ABB will also supply a range of products and technologies, including inverters, protection equipment, switchgear, dry-type transformers, controllers and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, ABB will also construct a substation and provide the connection to the high-voltage power grid.
“We have a strong relationship with ABB and are excited to be working with them on this project" said Pashupathy Gopalan, Sun Edison Vice President and Managing Director of South East Asia and Sub Saharan Operations. "ABB brings extensive experience and expertise to the table and we are pleased to be working with them to bring renewable energy to South Africa."
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