AEG Power Solutions to expand South Africa operations

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The company said the facility, which will manufacture its new Protect PV630 inverter, is part of its increased investment plan targeting Africa, India and Germany. "Protect PV.630 now represents the next milestone in the range of industrial inverters for multi-megawatt PV power plants," the company said in a statement on May 29.

Speaking to pv magazine, director for corporate communications, Claire Pairault said the new facility will be added to the current manufacturing plant, which produces the company’s Protect PV 5000 inverter. "It will manufacture central solar inverters and also monitoring systems," she said. She added that the facility, which will be funded from the company’s earnings, will have an annual capacity of 200 megawatts. She would not divulge the investment amount, however.

The main market target for the new product is primarily South Africa, however AEG will use the country as a base to enter other African markets.

Pairault said the recent approval of nine new photovoltaic projects by South Africa’s Department of Energy with an additional 417 MW, is a major boost to the company’s investment plan for Africa. The new projects are expected online by 2016. "South Africa’s potential had been already identified last year by AEG Power Solutions, and decision was made before those approvals," she commented.

Under the country’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP), the government plans to develop 18 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy by 2030, of which 8.4 GW have been allocated for solar.