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Aries solar energy facility project, South Africa

Name and Location
Aries solar energy facility project, Northern Cape, South Africa.

BioTherm Energy, three broad-based black economic-empowerment trusts – the Aries Solar Facility Community Trust, Ikamva Labantu Empowerment Trust and the Malibongwe Women’s Development trust – black economic-empowerment investor Winner’s Circle, and Aurora Power Solutions.

Project Description
The Aries solar energy facility will be built on 20 ha, located about 36 km south-west of Kenhardt, in the Northern Cape.

The facility will include 45 000 solar photovoltaic panels with a total capacity of 10 MW. The panels will be mounted onto angled steel structures that are fixed to the ground and up to 3 m in height.

The project was one of 28 renewable-energy projects identified as preferred bidders under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme in December 2011.

Not stated.

Aries started to deliver electricity to the national grid in early December 2013.

Latest Developments
Aries reached commercial operation on March 20, 2014.

Key Contracts and Suppliers
BYD (solar panels), Nedbank and the Industrial Development Corporation (lenders), juwi Solar (construction) and Schletter South Africa (solar mounting framework and mechanical installation).

On Budget and on Time?
Not stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
BioTherm Energy, tel +27 11 367 4600, fax +27 11 367 4601 or email
Aurora Power Solutions, tel +27 21 421 9764, fax +27 865 138 648 or email
Schletter South Africa, tel +27 11 022 9711 or fax +27 87 782 0909.