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Solar News

Renewable energy crucial to Africa’s power

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     20th April 2018 Many African leaders have realised the crucial role that renewable energy can and will play in “bringing power to their people”, says multidisciplinary engineering consultancy WSP Africa power transmission and distribution director Dinesh Buldoo. “The return-on-investment of renewable power... 

Resistance persists despite declaration of new renewables dawn

By: Terence Creamer     20th April 2018 The world did not stop to allow South Africa to get off. While ‘sunny South Africa’ spent more than two years delaying the introduction of new renewable-energy plants, including 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects and a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant, the rest of the world continued... 

Resistance persists despite declaration of new renewables dawn

Industrial microgrid leveraging solar and storage launched 

     19th April 2018 Power management multinational Eaton South Africa has launched a grid-tied microgrid that uses solar photovoltaic and lithium ion battery storage systems. The microgrid powers its Wadeville campus and factory.  

Industrial microgrid leveraging solar and storage launched
Industrial microgrid leveraging solar and storage launched

World Bank sees microgrids playing bigger role in Africa’s electrification as solar costs fall

By: Terence Creamer     18th April 2018 Changes in generation technologies, including the sharp fall in solar photovoltaic (PV) costs, means that the evolution of electricity systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) will need to involve more than one national grid, a new World Bank report argues. “The path to universal electrification will... 

World Bank sees microgrids playing bigger role in Africa’s electrification as solar costs fall
Bank says microgrids have worked well in East and South Asia

Cosatu strongly rejects Eskom’s appeal for more money

By: Kim Cloete     16th April 2018 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has rejected Eskom’s appeal to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to recover its costs in the provision of electricity, calling it “unaffordable, unreasonable and unjustifiable”. “We have no faith in Eskom. We completely... 

PPA signings open up a sustainable energy vision for South Africa, Africa – Juwi

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th April 2018 The power purchase agreements (PPAs) signed by State-owned power utility Eskom earlier this month ended three years of waiting and uncertainty and it is a significant step towards a truly sustainable energy vision for South Africa and Africa as a whole, says solar energy equipment supplier Juwi.  

PPA signings open up a sustainable energy vision for South Africa, Africa – Juwi
A Juwi solar PV plant

Radebe lauds REIPPPP, Bepa’s role in transforming the energy sector

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th April 2018 The signing, earlier this month, of power purchase agreements for 27 independent power producer (IPP) energy projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) supports an increase in black participation in the industry, as well as the creation of black... 

Radebe lauds REIPPPP, Bepa’s role in transforming the energy sector
Photo by Dylan Slater
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Rooftop PV system donated to Consulate of Italy in Cape Town

By: Simone Liedtke     13th April 2018 Multinational company Building Energy has donated a 3.12 kW off-grid solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop power plant to the Italian consulate in Cape Town. The plant, comprising 12 PV panels, will generate about 5 MWh/y of energy, significantly decreasing the building’s carbon footprint through a... 

Rooftop PV system donated to Consulate of Italy in Cape Town
Cape Town-based Consul of Italy Alfonso Tagliaferri and Building Energy Africa and Middle East MD Matteo Brambilla

Tribunal approves PIC’s acquisition of a CPV special purpose vehicle

By: Marleny Arnoldi     13th April 2018 The Competition Tribunal has approved the Public Investment Corporation’s (PIC’s) acquisition of a controlling stake in concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar power plant Equity Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which is owned by German energy company Solitec Solar.  

Redstone project to deliver clean electricity to over 200 000 homes

By: Simone Liedtke     11th April 2018 The 100 MW Redstone solar thermal project, in the Northern Cape, which has 12 hours of energy storage capacity, will be able to reliably deliver a stable supply of clean electricity to the equivalent of more than 200 000 South African homes each year. The project, which is adjacent to the 75 MW... 

‘High priority’ IRP update to be published soon

By: Terence Creamer     10th April 2018 Department of Energy (DoE) director-general Thabane Zulu says the updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is undergoing a final set of processes and consultations, as stipulated by Cabinet in December, before being published in the Government Gazette. Speaking at the Africa Power Roundtable in... 

‘High priority’ IRP update to be published soon
Photo by Dylan Slater
Department of Energy director-general Thabane Zulu

eltherm awarded electrical heat tracing contract for Ilanga solar project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2018 Private engineering and technology company Sener – and its procurement partners Emvelo and Cobra – has awarded global heat tracing specialist eltherm South Africa a contract for the design and installation of an electrical heat tracing (EHT) system at the 100 MW Ilanga solar thermal power plant... 

IPP signing ‘a symbol of hope for South African business’ – Sola

By: Marleny Arnoldi     6th April 2018 Solar energy company Sola has commended Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s signing of 27 outstanding power purchase agreements with renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs).  

IPP signing ‘a symbol of hope for South African business’ – Sola
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Solar powers Redefine Properties’ sustainability efforts

By: Simone Liedtke     5th April 2018 JSE-listed Redefine Properties’ total installed photovoltaic (PV) fleet will produce about 35.75-million kilowatt-hours a year of solar power when fully operational.   This forms part of the diversified real estate investment trust company’s strategy on solar energy to deliver cost efficiencies... 

Solar powers Redefine Properties’ sustainability efforts
Some of the key assets where Redefine has already installed rooftop solar PV plants include Boulders Shopping Centre, in Midrand

Radebe says signing of 27 IPP agreements a ‘new dawn’ for renewables in South Africa

By: Terence Creamer     4th April 2018 Agreements opening the way for the construction of 27 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects, with a combined investment value of R56-billion and a combined capacity of 2 300 MW, were finally signed on Wednesday April 4, after a confidence-sapping delay of over two years. At... 

Radebe says signing of 27 IPP agreements a ‘new dawn’ for renewables in South Africa
Photo by Dylan Slater
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Long-delayed renewables IPP agreements to be signed on Wednesday

By: Terence Creamer     3rd April 2018 Energy Minister Jeff Radebe announced on Tuesday that agreements for 27 renewable-energy independent power producer (IPP) projects, which have been delayed since 2016, will be signed on Wednesday, April 4. The projects have a collective investment value of R55.92-billion. 

Long-delayed renewables IPP agreements to be signed on Wednesday
Energy Minister Jeff Radebe

Wadeville microgrid using second-hand car batteries for storage

By: Schalk Burger     30th March 2018 Power management multinational Eaton has launched a microgrid that powers its factory and campus in Wadeville, Gauteng, using second-hand lithium-ion electric car batteries for its storage component. The batteries come from Nissan Leaf electric vehicles driven in Europe, and have about 4.5 years... 

Wadeville microgrid  using second-hand car  batteries for storage
AERIAL VIEW OF EATON WADEVILLE The microgrid comprises lithium-ion battery storage, the rooftop solar PV system and a stand-by generator, as well as two connections to the Eskm grid

South African court dismisses bid to block $4.7bn renewable deals 

By: Reuters     29th March 2018 A South African court on Thursday dismissed a bid to block $4.7-billion in renewable power contracts, an energy ministry spokeswoman said, removing an obstacle to the first major investment deal under President Cyril Ramaphosa. The last-minute legal challenge was lodged earlier this month by the... 

South African court dismisses bid to block $4.7bn renewable deals

US power group touts microgrids ‘as the way forward’

By: Simone Liedtke     29th March 2018 Decentralisation, through the implementation of microgrids, could be the key to improving grid resilience, US-based electricity supplier Illinois Power Company and Tucson Electric Power Company CEO Charles Bayless told an audience in Johannesburg this week. The design of microgrids, which... 

Construction set to begin on ‘flagship’ 40 MW Moz solar project

By: Terence Creamer     28th March 2018 Oslo-listed renewable-energy developer Scatec Solar, which has its African regional hub in Cape Town, South Africa, expects to begin constructing a 40 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in Mozambique in the coming weeks after the project reached financial close in early March. GM and VP for... 

Construction set to begin on ‘flagship’ 40 MW Moz solar project
Scatec Solar's Kalkbult solar farm in South Africa

EIB pumps $25m into off-grid solar project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th March 2018 The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided $25-million in financing for off-grid solar lighting company d.light to strengthen access to energy in Africa.  

Africa struggles to meet energy demand and reduce carbon emissions 

By: Simone Liedtke     28th March 2018 The global energy sector is faced with the dual challenge of meeting growing energy demand, while simultaneously needing to lower carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the energy system, says MIT Energy Initiative director Robert Armstrong. Speaking at the twenty-first Power and Electricity World... 

Park Inn by Radisson installs Cape Town’s first PVT project

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th March 2018 Hotel brand Park Inn by Radisson, together with hybrid solar products producer Solarus, have installed a large-scale commercial hybrid photovoltaic and thermal (PVT) project in Cape Town’s central business district – the first PVT project in the city.  

Park Inn by Radisson installs Cape Town’s first PVT project
Large-scale commercial hybrid photovoltaic and thermal project in Cape Town

AMCU demands summit to discuss renewable energy jobs

By: Anine Kilian     23rd March 2018 The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) has called for an urgent summit with labour, State-owned Eskom and government to discuss renewable energy and jobs. The trade union said in a statement on Friday that the Departments of Trade and Industry and Economic Development had to... 

Norway optimistic Ramaphosa will restore predictability to business environment

By: Terence Creamer     22nd March 2018 The Norwegian government is optimistic that the new South African government, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will promote a more stable and predictable business environment that is conducive to higher levels of trade and investment between the two countries. Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister... 

Norway optimistic Ramaphosa will restore predictability to business environment
Norway's Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister, Marianne Hagen

Enel starts conversion to new PV panel manufacturing technology at Italy factory

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2018 Multinational renewable-energy corporation Enel Green Power has started a technology conversion project at its 3SUN factory, in Catania, Italy, to enable the facility to become the exclusive manufacturer of heterojunction technology (HJT) bifacial photovoltaic (PV) panels. The HJT bifacial PV... 

15 MW Essakane hybrid plant inaugurated in Burkina Faso

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2018 The 15 MW Essakane solar plant, in northern Burkina Faso, has been officially opened. The photovoltaic (PV) plant will supply electricity to Iamgold's Essakane gold mine. 

AfDB teams up with international organisation to drive solar development in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     19th March 2018 The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed a joint declaration with the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to promote the development of solar energy in Africa. The joint declaration recognises the bank's leadership in working with several parties, including governments, the private sector... 

Wind body dismisses as ‘false’ link between IPPs and tariffs surge

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 The South African Wind Energy Association (SAWEA) has dismissed as a “falsehood” claims by the National Union of Metalworkers (Numsa) and Transform RSA that the 27 renewable-energy projects, which the two organisations are seeking to block through a court challenge, will raise the cost of... 

Wind body dismisses as ‘false’ link between IPPs and tariffs surge

Namibian PV solar plant to start operating in September

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2018 Solar developer Alten Africa has achieved financial closure of what will be the biggest photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant in Namibia and one of the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa.  

Namibian PV solar plant to start operating in September
Alten Africa PV solar plant in Spain

Renewables advisory firm still bullish on South African prospects despite setbacks

By: Terence Creamer     16th March 2018 International renewable-energy advisory firm K2 Management remains convinced that, despite recent setbacks, the role of wind and solar will continue to rise in the South African electricity mix. Therefore, the company is preparing to expand its presence in the country, as well as the rest of... 

Renewables advisory firm still bullish on South African prospects despite setbacks
K2 Management South Africa head Hebren James

Eaton launches Wadeville microgrid using second-hand car batteries for storage

By: Schalk Burger     16th March 2018 Power management multinational Eaton has launched a microgrid that powers its factory and campus in Wadeville, Gauteng, using second-hand lithium-ion electric car batteries for its storage component. The batteries come from Nissan Leaf electric vehicles driven in Europe, and have about 4.5 years... 

Eaton launches Wadeville microgrid using second-hand car batteries for storage
Eaton Wadeville factory and rooftop solar PV

PEWA to set stage for African energy investment once again

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2018 With 600-million people in Africa not having access to electricity, the onus is on Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) to provide the platform that will encourage investment in infrastructure and grid connection across Africa.  

PEWA to set stage for African  energy investment once again
POWER UNITED Terrapinn is expecting about 8 000 attendees from more than 40 African countries, including 350 exhibitors and 300 speakers, to attend PEWA 2018

PV monitoring solutions cater for increasing solar use

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2018 Leading Germany-based solar monitoring, smart energy and feed-in management company Solar-Log will showcase its professional solution for qualified photovoltaic (PV) system monitoring and energy management at the Power & Electricity World Africa (PEWA) event on March 27 and 28, which will be held... 

PV monitoring  solutions cater for  increasing solar use
PLATFORM FOR PURPOSE Solar-Log says PEWA has been the best place for the company to enter into the South African market while learning about PV requirements

Fund invests in Africa-focused renewables IPP

By: Dylan Slater     9th March 2018 Clean energy infrastructure and resource efficiency investment company Inspired Evolution has signed a deal to invest up to $36-million in independent power producer (IPP) Alten Renewable Energy Developments Africa, which is the sub-Saharan Africa-focused subsidiary of Netherlands-based solar... 

Minigrids gradually becoming more connected in Africa

By: Simone Liedtke     7th March 2018 Emerging power generation networks, which are minigrids that are off the grid, are gradually becoming more connected and providing a directional generation of supply to the demand in Africa, where about 625-million people are still without access to power. At a media roundtable discussion on... 

AfDB secures $52.5m to fund renewable energy projects in Zambia

By: Marleny Arnoldi     7th March 2018 The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved the first funding proposal of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for Zambia’s renewable energy financing framework, providing a $50-million loan and a $2.5-million grant.  

AfDB secures $52.5m to fund renewable energy projects in Zambia
100 MW of renewable energy projects will be financed in Zambia
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