ABB wins US$225 million turnkey PV plant contract


The power and automation technology firm will carry out the design, engineering, installation and commissioning of the two plants at Witkop and Soutpan Solar Parks starting January 2013. ABB will also supply inverters, protection equipment, switchgear, dry-type transformers, controllers and the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system.

"The orders were awarded by two special purpose entities, Core Energy and Erika Energy, whose primary stakeholders include SunEdison, a leading global solar energy services provider," ABB said on Tuesday.

Marketing and Communications manager Shivani Chetram confirmed to pv magazine that the panels will be supplied by Chinese firm Chint. Chetram said electricity from the two plants will be fed into the high-voltage transmission grid in February 2014 and April 2014 respectively.

According to ABB, "The two plants will have a generating capacity of 33 MW and 31 MW respectively and will be among the first utility-scale PV power plants to be built in phase one of the South African government’s long-term renewable energy programme."

The two PV projects are among 18 that were picked in December by Department of Energy in the first round under South Africa’s renewable energy programme for independent power producers (REIPPP). Investors will inject an estimated $5.3 billion for solar and wind projects in this phase.

ABB said the two plants implemented by two special purpose entities, Core Energy and Erika Energy owned by among others SunEdison, will generate 130 gigawatt hours annually enough to light 36,000 homes and "displace around 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year."

"We have a strong relationship with ABB and are excited to be working with them on this project" said Pashupathy Gopalan, Sun Edison Vice President and Managing Director of South East Asia and Sub Saharan Operations.