Solea Renewables completes 1MW diesel/PV hybrid plant


The decentralized 1 MW hybrid PV system was planned and installed for Cronimet Energy South Africa to fuel Cronimet Mining’s chromium ore operations. The system will deliver approximately 1.8 GWh of electricity annually, which will allow the mining company to reduce its daytime diesel consumption.

Solea AG’s CEO, Anton Schweiger commented, "The realization of our first grid-independent utility scale hybrid PV plant was a successful market entry for the Solea group. Southern Africa is a key growth market for Solea and our diesel hybrid PV systems are ready to roll out."

A total of 4,170 JinkoSolar JKM240P-60 polycrystalline PV panels and 63 three-phase decentralized SMA 17000TL inverters were installed, each with a nominal AC power rating of 17kVA. The system was fixed onto Solea’s Renewables’ galvanized steel and aluminum fixed-tilt racking system mounted to the company’s proprietary helical steel screw foundation.

SMA’s Fuel Save Controller software monitors and regulates the 800kVa diesel gensets’ output in real-time as well as the consistent relationship with the PV plant’s output. The software computes the maximum amount of PV power that the island mode system can safely consume to ensure stability of the supply and the most effective use of renewable PV power.

Rollie Armstrong, Director of Solea Capital GmbH adds that hybrid PV systems provide mining operators in remote locations with low or no existing infrastructure with a reliable 20 to 30-year power source alternative to electrifying daytime mining operations with only diesel gensets.