Africa’s Largest Solar Plant – The 75 MW Kalkbult Installation – Connected To The Grid

Scatec Solar AS (Oslo, Norway) has recently connected a 75 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in South Africa’s Northern Cape region to the grid, as the first PV project to be completed under the nation’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP).

image thumb Africas Largest Solar Plant   The 75 MW Kalkbult Installation   Connected To The GridConstruction on the Kalkbult PV plant began immediately after financial close in November 2012. The Kalkbult plant is also the largest solar plant in operation on the African continent, and five times larger than the next largest PV plant in Mauritania.

“I am very proud of our staff and contractors who have been able to complete this substantial project three months ahead of schedule, demonstrating how swiftly utility-scale solar energy plants could be built and put in operation,” said Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen.
“South African authorities are committed to implementing an ambitious renewable energy program, and we find great satisfaction in being able to contribute to its success through our own projects which we have actively been developing in South Africa over the last four years.”
Expected production of 145 GWh annually
The Kalkbult plant comprises 313,000 BYD mutlicrystalline silicon PV modules connected to 84 SMA Sunny Central 800CP inverters, 42 Transformer Compact Stations and 840 SMA Sunny strong monitors.
Public utility Eskom (Sunninghill, South Africa) will purchase the electricity produced by the plant under a 20-year power purchase agreement. Scatec expects the plant to produce 145 GWh annually.
115 MW of other PV plants under construction
Scatec has been awarded a total of three projects under the REIPPP, with a total capacity of 190 MW. The company has begun construction of the other two projects in the Northern and Eastern Cape and expects to complete them by the middle of 2014.
South Africa’s Department of Energy has awarded 1.05 GW of PV and 200 MW of concentrating solar power (CSP) projects in two rounds of the REIPPP. Preferred bidders through the first round were announced in December 2011.

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