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Solar News

86 MW Prieska solar plant enters commercial operation 

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2016 The 86 MW Mulilo-Sonnedix-Prieska solar photovoltaic (PV) project, in the Northern Cape, has officially started operating commercially, following 17 months of construction. The R1.3-billion project, which is located on a 125 ha site 50 km south-west of Prieska, comprises 275 000 PV modules,... 

Nafcoc ‘alarmed’ by Eskom move against IPPs 

By: Terence Creamer     25th July 2016 The National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Nafcoc) has added its voice to those questioning Eskom’s resistance to connecting new independent power producers (IPPs), saying it is “alarmed” by the State-owned electricity producer’s move. In a letter sent to Energy Minister... 

Nafcoc ‘alarmed’ by Eskom move against IPPs

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation 

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2016 The decision by Eskom not to sign any new power purchase agreements (PPAs) with independent power producers (IPPs) beyond those selected in the latest competitive bidding round could have a “chilling” effect on investment and undermine industrialisation efforts under way in the green economy,... 

Eskom’s IPP stance seen undermining investment and green industrialisation

Rosebank office awarded top green rating

By: Dylan Slater     22nd July 2016 Green-focused architecture consultancy Solid Green Consulting’s Rosebank offices were recently awarded 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification for the incorporation of ecofriendly aspects into their offices.  

Rosebank office awarded top green rating
GREEN CERTIFICATION Solid Green Consulting’s new Rosebank office has 6-Star Green Star South Africa Interiors v1 certification

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges 

By: David Oliveira     22nd July 2016 One hundred of Africa’s most innovative youth gathered at the Brightest Young Minds (BYM) 2016 summit, held in Johannesburg last month, to discuss and find innovative solutions for Africa’s socioeconomic challenges. “BYM is a nonprofit public-benefit organisation aimed at providing a platform for... 

Africa’s brightest youth brainstorm solutions to socioeconomic challenges
Absa corporate and investment banking CEO Stephen van Coller and Brightest Young Minds (BYM) CEO Dhiren Govender discusses the 2016 BYM summit. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Lionel da Silva

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential

By: Anine Kilian     21st July 2016 Global engineering firm Siemens says it is committed to South Africa’s renewable-energy revolution and supports the country’s imminent procurement of gas-to-power infrastructure.  Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Power-Gen Africa conference in Sandton, Johannesburg,... 

Siemens upbeat about South Africa’s gas-to-power, renewables potential
Siemens CEO Sabine Dall'Omo

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

By: Anine Kilian     19th July 2016 Less than 30% of renewable energy projects in Africa reach financial close, with the development process highlighted as the riskiest part of the development cycle, according to advisory firm Castalia Africa practice leader Patrick Longmire. “Renewable energy project development is expensive and... 

Financing and legal frameworks key for successful renewables projects in Africa

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks

By: Terence Creamer     19th July 2016 State-owned electricity producer Eskom expects to finalise commercial terms with the New Development Bank (NDB), of the Brics grouping, for a $150-million facility in the next quarter, CFO Anoj Singh reports. A term sheet has been signed with the NDB and Singh reports that, once consummated, the... 

$150m Brics bank facility seen helping ease South Africa’s grid bottlenecks
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP 

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2016 The Pele Energy Group (PEG), which is owned and managed by a group of 30-something black professionals, is making strides in its stated objective of evolving from an energy investor into a fully-fledged independent power producer (IPP) and, ultimately, a private utility company. Headquartered in... 

Group of 30-somethings making steady progress in building black-owned IPP
The five PEG founders

Event costs deter local companies

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th July 2016 The lack of emphasis on local innovation seems to be reflected in the pricing scheme of the Power-Gen Africa event, which favours international currencies more than the local one, says solar solutions provider Microcare Solar Components marketing manager Gareth Burley. 

Event costs deter local companies
FOCUS ON SOLAR Renewable energy will be a key focus at this year’s Power-Gen Africa event

Quality standards for grid-tied systems worth the wait

By: Robyn Wilkinson     8th July 2016 The publication of Small-Scale Embedded Generators (SSEG) national standards for grid-tied systems are more than 12 months overdue, which is a noteworthy delay because of how crucial they are to advancing safe and cost-effective solar energy practices in South Africa, says advanced power product... 

Quality standards  for grid-tied systems  worth the wait
CIS TECHNOLOGY Japanese-manufactured copper, indium and selenium (CIS) solar photovoltaic technology supplied by Sinetech

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy 

By: Anine Kilian     29th June 2016 South Africa is the twelfth-greatest emitter of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the world, as well as the biggest polluter on the African continent, according to German political foundation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) South Africa director Renate Tenbusch, speaking at a roundtable event on black... 

S Africa still reliant on coal, struggling to transition to low-carbon economy

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton

By: Irma Venter     29th June 2016 Growthpoint Properties has introduced two electronic bike hubs to the Sandton business district, in a pilot project the company hopes will grow its footprint, says Growthpoint head of energy sustainability Werner van Antwerpen. The two hubs are opposite the Sandton Gautrain Station, at the... 

Growthpoint introduces electric bikes, solar charging hubs to Sandton
Photo by Duane Daws
Growthpoint's e-bike charging hub

Renewable-energy costs rapidly decreasing – SolarReserve 

By: Anine Kilian     27th June 2016 Concentrated solar power (CSP) plants with storage systems are expected to result in lower installation costs as global deployment accelerates. Proposed projects for future development were already seeing a 30% reduction in capital costs, utility-scale solar power project developer SolarReserve... 

Microgrid technologies can help unlock electrification

By: Mia Breytenbach     24th June 2016 Large scale centralised generation will increase with the development of grid solutions, which will include an increase in focus on microgrid and standalone home systems, as well as off-the-grid, distributed generation solutions, expects advisory firm PWC Power, Capital Projects, and... 

Microgrid technologies can help  unlock electrification
ENSURED SUPPLY ABB’s microgrid uses national grid power, a solar photovoltaic (PV) installation, as well as a backup feed from four diesel generator sets

South Africa seen as attractive market amid surging global solar PV deployment

By: Terence Creamer     23rd June 2016 A new study assessing the future role of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the global electricity system suggests that the technology’s installed base could grow to between 1 760 GW and 2 500 GW by 2030 and identifies South Africa as among the most attractive markets for deployment. Solar PV capacity... 

South Africa seen as attractive market amid surging global solar PV deployment

$117.5m renewables deal to support 1 300 MW Africa roll-out

By: Terence Creamer     23rd June 2016 Participants in a $117.5-million equity funding deal, announced on Thursday, say the transaction will support African-focused Lekela Power meet its goal of constructing over 1 300 MW of wind and solar capacity across the continent by 2018, including four wind farms in South Africa. Lekela Power... 

$117.5m renewables deal to support 1 300 MW Africa roll-out
Mainstream CEO Eddie O’Connor

Botswana to double Morupule power output by 2020

By: African News Agency      17th June 2016 The government of Botswana says power output from the Morupule Power Plant will be ramped up from the current 300 MW to 600 MW by 2020 through the addition of two new plants with a capacity to produce 300 MW each. Addressing the Botswana Resource Sector Conference (BRSC) held in Gaborone on... 

Pioneer Foods, Energy Partners in national solar programme

By: Mia Breytenbach     17th June 2016 Food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods, in conjunction with energy solutions service provider Energy Partners’ solar division, has rolled out a solar programme, which is about 60% complete.      The programme entails the installation of large commercial solar systems with a combined size of... 

Pioneer Foods, Energy Partners in national solar programme
PROGRAMME ROLL-OUT As part of the solar programme Pioneer Food’s Klerksdorp Mill in the North West has a 752 kW rooftop installation

Eltherm South Africa secures first major contract

By: Anine Kilian     10th June 2016 Heat tracing specialist eltherm South Africa (SA) has been awarded the contract to design and install a heat tracing system for the Xina Solar One power plant, near Pofadder, in the Northern Cape. The contract, awarded to eltherm SA by Spanish multinational corporation Abengoa, was the company’s... 

Eltherm South Africa secures first major contract

Enel’s South Africa unit connects another 66 MW solar plant to grid

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2016 The renewable-energy unit of Italian energy group Enel reports that its 66 MW Tom Burke photovoltaic (PV) plant in South Africa’s Limpopo province has been connected to the grid, raising its installed capacity in the country to nearly 160 MW. Country manager in South Africa Lamberto Dai Pra’ adds... 

Enel’s South Africa unit connects another 66 MW solar plant to grid

Dubai-based solar firm pursuing 650 MW African project pipeline

By: Terence Creamer     8th June 2016 Solar energy company Phanes Group, of the United Arab Emirates, reports that its African project pipeline currently exceeds 650 MW, including a 150 MW project under development in South Africa, where it recently opened a regional office. The Johannesburg office is the Dubai-headquartered firm’s... 

Dubai-based solar firm pursuing 650 MW African project pipeline
A Phanes project in the Caribbean

Electricity connections rise to 85.5% – Stats SA

By: News24Wire      3rd June 2016 Eskom took credit for accelerating the number of households connected to the electricity supply, after Stats SA revealed on Thursday that levels increased “consistently from 77.1% in 2002 to 85.5% in 2015”. This as Stats SA also revealed that electricity generation increased by a relatively small... 

Electricity connections rise to 85.5% – Stats SA

Telecoms group launches solar car park at Centurion campus

By: Dylan Slater     3rd June 2016 Telecommunications company Telkom completed Phase 1 of a three-phase, 3 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) installation as part of a new parking lot for staff members at its Centurion headquarters, Telkom Park campus, last month.  

Telecoms group launches solar car park at Centurion campus
Photo by Dylan Slater
SOLAR PARK The Telkom headquarters, in Pretoria, are set to produce 3 MW of solar photovoltaic electricity once operational

Emperors Palace launches rooftop solar PV plant

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd June 2016 The construction of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in South Africa has reached 50% completion at Emperors Palace, in Boksburg, Gauteng, with completion of the 1.045 MW rooftop plant set for August this year. Construction of the plant, which would be a grid-tied solar PV... 

Emperors Palace launches rooftop solar PV plant
ELECTRICITY SAVER The plant will cover about 7 265 m2 of the current roof space and is expected to generate about 1.9 MWh/y of electricity

Emperors Palace launches rooftop solar PV plant

By: Mia Breytenbach     18th May 2016 The construction of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) plants in South Africa at Emperors Palace, in Boksburg, Gauteng, is 50% complete, with first power supply to Emperors Palace expected to start next week. Construction of the plant – a grid-tied solar PV system that would... 

Emperors Palace launches rooftop solar PV plant

Renewable-energy prices reach low of $0.03/kWh 

By: Kim Cloete     18th May 2016 New technologies and the rapid rise of renewable energy have shaken up the global energy landscape, with prices falling to below $0.03/kWh. “We are now in the world of three cent renewable energy,” said Bloomberg New Energy Finance UK advisory board chairperson and founder Michael Liebreich. 

Renewable-energy prices reach low of $0.03/kWh

Molefe’s negative renewables comments attract yet more criticism 

By: Terence Creamer     16th May 2016 Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s negative comments regarding the performance of renewable energy in South Africa continued to attract criticism on Monday, with a solar photovoltaic (PV) industry body describing Molefe’s views as “ill-informed at best, and misleading at worst”. During a recent update on... 

Molefe’s negative renewables comments attract yet more criticism
Photo by Duane Daws
Eskom CEO Brian Molefe

ACSA unveils Kimberley Airport solar power plant

By: Anine Kilian     13th May 2016 Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) on Friday launched a R13.5-million solar power plant at Kimberley Airport as part of ACSA’s broader plan to install solar farms at all six of its regional airports. Construction of the Kimberley Airport plant got under way in September last year and was... 

ACSA unveils Kimberley Airport solar power plant
Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at the launch of the George Airport solar power plant in February

Saudi group keen to expand South African solar footprint well beyond Bokpoort  

By: Terence Creamer     13th May 2016 Located on a dead flat piece of land about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Upington and close to the Orange river, the curved solar collector mirrors, gleaming pipes and large molten-salt tanks of the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) plant stand in stark industrial contrast to the... 

Saudi group keen to expand South African solar footprint well beyond Bokpoort
Photo by Duane Daws
The 50 MW Bokpoort CSP plant

Energy sector headed in a positive direction

By: Sascha Solomons     13th May 2016 With State-owned power utility Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile power stations contributing about 10 GW jointly at full operation, global consulting firm KPMG believes the Department of Energy is proactively working towards reaching the National Development Plan’s (NDP) 2030 goal of having about 17 GW... 

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source

By: Sascha Solomons     13th May 2016 Solar system specialists and engineering design company ZRW Mechanika completed the installation of a 50 kW hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant at Wilgers education and community centre near the Kusile power plant in Witbank, Mpumalanga, in January 2016. ZRW Mechanika was awarded the... 

Power utility opts to use renewable energy source
HYBRID SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC Renewable and cost efficient energy source

DoE tests market appetite for three new public-private solar parks

By: Terence Creamer     11th May 2016 The Department of Energy (DoE) indicated on Wednesday that it would canvass the appetite of independent power producers (IPPs) to develop, finance, construct and operate three new Northern Cape solar parks, of between 400 MW and 700 MW in size, in partnership with State-owned companies (SoCs). In... 

DoE tests market appetite for three new public-private solar parks

New infrastructure project development approach needed to address African infrastructure gap

By: David Oliveira     10th May 2016 An alternative approach to infrastructure project development in Africa would be needed to address the significant infrastructure gap on the continent, International Finance Corporation (IFC) infrastructure and natural resources global director Sujoy Bose told delegates at the africainvestor (Ai)... 

100 MW Kathu CSP plant to be operational in 2018 

By: Terence Creamer     10th May 2016 Construction of the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park concentrated solar power (CSP) project, in the Northern Cape, is expected to begin soon, following the signing of a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) by the ENGIE-led consortium and South Africa’s State-owned electricity utility Eskom. The... 

100 MW Kathu CSP plant to be operational in 2018
The signing of the Kathu CSP PPA

Government support imperative for solar energy in South Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     6th May 2016 One of the biggest challenges hindering large projects in the commercial and industrial sectors in South Africa is the lack of a legal framework enabling the production of alternate sources of energy, says photovoltaic module manufacturer SolarWorld Africa MD Gregor Kuepper. 

Government support imperative for solar  energy in South Africa
SUNMODULE BISUN Solar power generated through innovative technology is a valuable resource in South Africa

Wärtsilä enters the solar energy business

By: Dylan Slater     6th May 2016 Complete life cycle solutions company Wärtsilä is entering the solar energy business by offering utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions.  

Wärtsilä enters the solar energy business
JORDAN POWER Wärtsilä's first solar project in Jordan combines an existing 250 MW engine power plant and a 46 MW solar photovoltaic plant

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