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Renewable Energy News

Rooftop solar panels for Rustenburg mall

     1st November 2013 JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties recently signed agreements with Solar Century Africa and Stated-owned power utility Eskom to install a utility-scale solar power plant on the rooftop of Growthpoint’s Waterfall Mall, in Rustenburg. 

Sasol completes Phase 1 of its eco-industrial park

By: Joanne Taylor     1st November 2013 Phase 1 of Sasol Group’s new ChemCity Eco Industrial Park (CEIP), a 172 ha site in Sasolburg, in the Free State, has been completed. Phase 1 comprised 110 light-industry stands of between 630 m2 and 990 m2, of which 17 have been transferred to their new owners. 

Van Stadens on track to power up in February, as all turbines erected 

By: Natasha Odendaal     31st October 2013 The MetroWind Van Stadens wind farm, in the Eastern Cape, was on track to start generating power to the grid by February, after Grindrod’s 50%-owned subsidiary Vanguard completed the erection of nine Sinovel SL3000 3 MW wind turbines, with electrical installation currently under way. The turbines... 

Van Stadens on track to power up in February, as all turbines erected

Propagation of biogas projects limited by waste management practices, legislation

By: Natalie Greve     30th October 2013 The underdeveloped biogas market in South Africa can largely be attributed to the country’s historical waste management policy and an absence of regulatory incentives, both of which have driven capital costs for biogas projects to upwards of R30-million per megawatt, the Biogas National... 

Propagation of biogas projects limited by waste management practices, legislation

Northern Cape solar power plant secures R2.8bn of funding  

By: Natalie Greve     29th October 2013 In a significant show of support for South African renewable-energy projects, the European Union’s (EUs) long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has agreed to provide €210-million, or R2.8-billion, for the construction of the Ka Xu Solar One concentrated solar power... 

Northern Cape solar power plant secures R2.8bn of funding

Another 17 renewables projects approved, more possible in light of competitive bids 

By: Terence Creamer     29th October 2013 The Department of Energy (DoE) has informed another 17 renewable-energy developers that they have been appointed as preferred bidders following the conclusion of the third bid-submission round under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The bidders were... 

Another 17 renewables projects approved, more possible in light of competitive bids

CIG revenues, earnings rise

By: Leandi Kolver     29th October 2013 JSE-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group (CIG) delivered robust results for the year ended August 31, driven by the delivery of substantial complex electrical work in terms of the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and the... 

CIG revenues, earnings rise

Public renewables announcement postponed owing to DRC diary clash

By: Terence Creamer     29th October 2013 The public announcement of South Africa’s next set of preferred renewable-energy bidders was postponed from the scheduled date of October 29 to November 4, owing to the fact that Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins and his senior officials are participating in President Jacob Zuma’s State visit to... 

Public renewables announcement postponed owing to DRC diary clash
Photo by Duane Daws
Energy Minister Dikobe Ben Martins

Gensets can manage renewable power – French company 

By: Schalk Burger     25th October 2013 Standalone electricity generation sets (gensets) can be used to manage the resulting power produced by solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable-energy generation plants and can also be used to provide electricity in a rural area as part of a hybrid renewable generation plant, says... 

Solar PV-focused power firm homing in on SA prospects

By: Terence Creamer     22nd October 2013 Global independent power producer Sonnedix, which focuses solely on the development and operation of solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities, has earmarked South Africa as a potential core future investment destination for both projects and acquisitions. The company, which is backed financially by... 

Solar PV-focused power firm homing in on SA prospects
Sonnedix president Franck Constant

Growthpoint to install solar plant at Rustenburg Mall 

By: Natasha Odendaal     21st October 2013 Growthpoint Properties plans to install a utility-scale 892-MWh-a-year solar power rooftop plant to power its Waterfall Mall, in Rustenburg. The group signed an agreement with Solar Century Africa and State-owned power utility Eskom for the installation of the plant, which is capable of... 

Growthpoint to install solar plant at Rustenburg Mall

Construction starts on R1.2bn PE wind farm 

By: Leandi Kolver     16th October 2013 Construction of the R1.2-billion, 61.5 MW Grassridge Wind Energy Facility, in Nelson Mandela Bay, officially started on Wednesday. The wind farm was being established at cement company PPC’s Grassridge quarry, in Port Elizabeth. It formed part of the Department of Energy’s (DoE’s) Renewable... 

Construction starts on R1.2bn PE wind farm

Standard Bank backing another R10bn worth of SA renewables projects

By: Terence Creamer     14th October 2013 Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking reports that it is backing projects worth R10-billion as part of South Africa’s third renewable-energy bidding round, which is currently in the final stages of adjudication. CEO David Munro says the projects have a combined capacity of more than 1... 

Standard Bank backing another R10bn worth of SA renewables projects
Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking CEO David Munro

Innovative cell structure converts a record 44.7% of sunlight into electricity

By: Schalk Burger     11th October 2013 A new world record of 44.7% of sunlight was converted into electricity by a photovoltaic panel using a new solar cell structure with four solar subcells last month, says German research organisation Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems department head and development project leader Dr... 

Large-scale solar thermal project synchronised with power grid

     11th October 2013 Ivanpah concentrated solar power plant’s Unit 1 produced its first output of energy and was successfully synchronised to the California power grid for the first time last month. The solar thermal project uses an array of mirrors to focus sunlight and heat on a central tower, which uses the energy... 

Saudi power group aiming for 4 000 MW Southern African portfolio by 2020

By: Terence Creamer     9th October 2013 Independent power producer ACWA Power is pursuing several electricity investments in Southern Africa over and above the 50 MW Bokpoort concentrated solar power (CSP) project being developed in the Northern Cape and has set a goal of building a regional portfolio with a capacity of 4 000 MW by... 

Saudi power group aiming for 4 000 MW Southern African portfolio by 2020
ACWA's Southern Africa business director Chris Ehlers

Altron returns to profitability

By: Natasha Odendaal     8th October 2013 JSE-listed Allied Electronics (Altron) returned to profitability in the six months ended August 31, as it continued its focus on rigorous cost control, extracting efficiencies from its existing businesses and working capital management. The engineering and technology group posted a total... 

Altron returns to profitability
Photo by Duane Daws
Altron CEO Robert Venter

1 MW rooftop solar plant to be implemented in November

By: Natasha Odendaal     7th October 2013 A R17-million, 1 MW industrial grid-tied solar plant, placed atop the 100 000 m² roof of Belgotex Floorcoverings’ manufacturing facility in Pietermaritzburg, was set to come online in November. The new plant, which was installed by Sustainable Power Solutions within two-and-a-half months, was... 

AfDB scales up investments into clean energy projects

By: Natasha Odendaal     4th October 2013 The African Development Bank (AfDB) had become the largest financier of clean energy in Africa, acting director of the climate change department Kurt Lonsway reported on Friday. The AfDB provided a cumulative $4.3-billion of the total $14.7-billion invested by development banks in clean energy... 

AfDB scales up investments into clean energy projects

Hospital group offered finance for heat pumps

By: David Oliveira     4th October 2013 Green energy technology services provider New Southern Energy (NSE) is looking to supply and install energy efficient water heating systems, including heat pumps, at a number of hospitals owned by South Africa-based private hospital operator Life Healthcare, NSE director Deepak John tells... 

New R150m facility to consolidate distribution to Africa

By: David Oliveira     4th October 2013 Pump manufacturing company Grundfos’ new 9 000 m2 facility, in Meadowbrook, which cost about R150-million to construct, was officially opened on August 14 and will serve as the company’s assembly and distribution centre for Africa. “The company decided to consolidate its facilities, in Pretoria,... 

New R150m facility to consolidate distribution to Africa
RENEWABLE ENERGYThe Meadowbrook building uses three wind turbines that generate electricity directly into the building’s grid to power the pumps and lighting when solar power is not available

SA, African MPs develop action plan on access to sustainable energy

     4th October 2013 MPs of the Portfolio Committee on Energy and their counterparts from the Pan African Parliament (PAP) have developed an action plan on how legislators can play a role in ensuring that Africans have access to affordable and sustainable energy. 

Standard Bank, Kenya IPP to develop $150m wind project

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd October 2013 Banking group Standard Bank, its Kenya-based subsidairy Stanbic Bank and independent power producer Aeolus Kenya have partnered in a $150-million deal to develop a 60.8 MW wind power project in the Kinangop plateau, central Kenya. The Kenyan government will be the buyer of power from the Kinangop... 

Standard Bank, Kenya IPP to develop $150m wind project

Energisation process to start at Droogfontein project this week

By: Natasha Odendaal     2nd October 2013 The energisation process for the 50 MW Droogfontein solar power photovoltaic project was set to kick off on October 6, in line with the closure of Transnet’s Kimberley railway line from October 1 to 10. The project, which is being built as part of the first window of government's Renewable Energy... 

Energisation process to start at Droogfontein project this week

Green systems financier targets diesel power 

By: David Oliveira     27th September 2013 Green energy technology service provider New Southern Energy (NSE) is supplying a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel system, generator and batteries for an energy efficiency greenfield project at a game lodge in Arniston, in the Western Cape. Construction at the game lodge, which started late... 

Green systems financier targets diesel power
COST-EFFECTIVE POWER Photovoltaic systems are a better electricity generation option for sites using more expensive alternatives, such as diesel-powered generators

Learners show they are up to the task during energy-saving competition

By: Joanne Taylor     27th September 2013 St John’s College, in Johannesburg, won first prize in the 2013 Siemens Junior Cyber Junk Yard Challenge earlier this month, – a competition in which talented learners go head-to-head in building models of energy-saving homes.  

Learners show they are up to the task during energy-saving competition
ST JOHN’S COLLEGEThe school won first prize with its model of an energy-efficient home at the 2013 Siemens Junior Cyber Yard Challenge

New system produces poor designs

     27th September 2013 In The Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy, the character Michael Henchard works in the mythical area of Wessex, in England, in the nineteenth century (that is, the 1800s, for those of you Natal graduates). 

New system produces poor designs
LANGA The first 463 units will be constructed at a cost of R170-million

SA manufacturer in deal to supply concrete cabins for solar farms

By: Joanne Taylor     27th September 2013 Precast concrete manufacturer Rocla has entered into a manufacturing-under-licence agreement with Spain-based precast concrete cabin supplier Prephor to manufacture precast concrete cabins to supply South Africa’s budding photovoltaic (PV) farms. 

SA manufacturer in deal to supply concrete cabins for solar farms
CONCRETE CABINPrecast concrete cabin manufacturing is increasing because of the country’s emerging solar power industry

Denmark blows some power into SA’s wind industry 

By: Kim Cloete     26th September 2013 Denmark, which is working closely with South Africa on its wind energy programme, believes the African country can become the hub of wind power in Africa. South Africa's wind energy industry is rapidly gaining momentum, with numerous wind farms being developed and 250 turbines currently under... 

Denmark blows some power into SA’s wind industry

Suppliers seek clarity on future REIPPPP local-content requirements

By: Kim Cloete     26th September 2013 Foreign companies supplying the South African wind energy industry have called for more clarity on the procurement requirements for future rounds of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The requirement for local content was steeply... 

Suppliers seek clarity on future REIPPPP local-content requirements

Solarcentury’s African expansion gains momentum

By: Natasha Odendaal     26th September 2013 UK-based solar solutions provider Solarcentury’s ambition to expand into African markets has gained momentum as the group established a 85:15 joint venture (JV) with a South Africa-based partner. Solarcentury and project developer Momentous Energy officially launched Solarcentury Africa last week... 

Global wind energy powers ahead  

By: Kim Cloete     25th September 2013 The global wind energy industry is looking very healthy, with wind-generated power growing faster than any other renewable-energy technology in 2012, climbing by 19% to 283 GW, delegates attending the WINDaba conference and exhibition in Cape Town have heard. The US pipped China to the post for... 

Global wind energy powers ahead

Company plans to localise part of operation, creating new jobs

By: Ilan Solomons     20th September 2013 Energy efficient technology solutions provider i4 Power Technology  (i4PT) group plans to start manufacturing some its products locally, including its heating and cooling solutions, in the next 9 to 12 months, i4 Group CEO Ajay Jekison tells Engineering News. He says the company currently... 

Company plans to localise part of operation, creating new jobs
Photo by Duane Daws
SOLAR GEYSERS SHARE i4 Power Technology holds an 86% share in the manufacturing rights of solar thermal technology manufacturer Genersys Solar’s solar water heaters in South Africa

JV to build Free State solar plant

     20th September 2013 A joint venture (JV) has been appointed to build a 60 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Boshof, in the Free State. 

Underfloor heating and heat pumps prove popular

By: Ilan Solomons     20th September 2013 Floor heating systems and heat pump inverters are sustainable building solutions company Kyasol’s most popular and reliable way of heating or cooling a room, says Kyasol project engineer Istvan Nyul. He says if these systems are combined with photovoltaic power generation, the heat pump sources... 

Underfloor heating and heat pumps prove popular
POPULAR CHOICE Heat pumps are more versatile as they can heat a room, produce hot water and switch modes to provide cooling in summer

REIPPPP first-window project connected to grid 

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th September 2013 The first of three solar projects awarded to global solar energy provider Scatec Solar under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has come on line three months ahead of schedule. Scatec said on Monday that it had successfully connected its Northern... 

REIPPPP first-window project connected to grid

$50m funding for Tanzania renewable-energy project secured

By: Leandi Kolver     13th September 2013 The World Bank’s Climate Investment Funds (CIF), designed to help developing countries pilot transformations in clean technology, on Thursday endorsed an investment plan aimed at assisting Tanzania in scaling up the development of its abundant renewable energy resources. The plan was designed to... 

$50m funding for Tanzania renewable-energy project secured

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