Power and automation technology group ABB has won orders worth about $225-million to supply two turnkey photovoltaic (PV) power plants that will be built in Limpopo.
Core Energy and Erika Energy, two special purpose entities whose main shareholders include Sun Edison, placed the orders for the plants, which would be located at the new Witkop and Soutpan solar parks, near Polokwane.
The plants will have a generating capacity of 33 MW and 31 MW, respectively, and the power generated will be fed into Eskom's high-voltage transmission grid through a new high-voltage substation.
Together the plants will generate 130 GWh of electricity a year, enough to power about 36 000 South African homes and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by some 130 000 t/y.
ABB will undertake the design, engineering, installation and commissioning of the plants and will supply a range of products and technologies, including inverters, protection equipment, switchgear, dry-type transformers, controllers and the supervisory control, as well as the data acquisition system.
Further, ABB will also construct the substation and provide the connection to the high-voltage power grid.
“These projects will provide opportunities for the transfer of skills and the upliftment of local expertise," ABB South Africa CEO Carlos Pone said.
The plants, which are scheduled to be completed in 2013, will be among the first utility-scale PV power plants to be built in Phase 1 of the government’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement (REIPPP) programme.
The REIPPP programme aims to reduce the impact of electricity generation on the environment and diversify the country’s energy mix by encouraging independent power producers to develop the country’s abundant renewable-energy resources.